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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Bowman

What To Look For When Visiting Loved Ones This Holiday Season

During the holiday season while the family is gathered is the perfect time to check in on loved ones, especially ones that we don't see that often. When I was a child I can remember going to the assisted living home or nursing home to visit my Grandmothers. Times have changed. According to an AARP study 90% of seniors want to age in their home. What happens when an illness is progressing and family isn't close to see the signs? What should you look out for while visiting loved ones this season?

1. Physical changes- Are they able to move throughout their home? Are they suddenly slurring their speech? Are they able to clean or cook for themselves?

2. Cognitive difficulties- Do they have trouble remembering names, places, times? Do they often forget what they came into a room for? Do they ask the same questions multiple times?

3. Habit changes- Were they a person that wore make-up every day and suddenly don't? Are they a person that was always clean, but now doesn't seem to bathe? Do they stay in their pajamas all day when they would have never left their bedroom without being fully dressed?

4. Sensory changes- Do they suddenly have an aversion to bright lights? Do they not like loud noises? Do they react negatively when trying to hug them?

5. Check the car- Are there any new dents or unexplained scratches to the bumper or any other part of the vehicle?

6. Check the frig- Do they have expired food? Is it clean? Are they eating nutritious meals?

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