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Does Your Loved One Need Help During the Holiday Season?

couple during holidays
By Kathryn Parks

If you’re joining the hundreds of thousands of young people who are traveling home for the holiday season, it may have been quite some time since you’ve seen your family. If you come home and notice a significant decline since the last time that you’ve seen your loved one, it can be a big shock.

This year, take advantage of the time that you have with your family, not only just to see them and enjoy their company, but to also make sure that they are still in a place where they are able to care for themselves. You may see that while your loved one is getting by, they aren’t quite living the full and bountiful life that they should be. Here’s how to tell if your loved one could benefit from home care, so that they too… can live their best life.

Tip #1 – Hygiene

You know who your loved one is. If they’ve never made a habit of hanging out in their PJ’s and suddenly, they are, it might be a sign of something else that goes deeper than just enjoying retirement and being lazy. Don’t second guess your intuition. If it’s not normal for dad to smell funny, or for mom to not be wearing her fun socks, then listen to your conscious.

Many of our loved ones, as they get older are afraid of slipping and falling in the bath or have forgotten their daily routine. As a matter of fact, if your loved one is avoiding the shower, they may have already fallen and are now rightfully afraid of repeating the process.

A professional caregiver can stop by on a daily basis and help them feel safe again, so that they are able to maintain their hygiene. This simple act can give them back their health, safety, and most importantly their dignity.

Tip #2 – Empty Cabinets and Pantries

How often do you go grocery shopping? It can be exhausting to load your cart, unload it at checkout, reload it into the cart, unload it into the car, unload it into the house, and put everything away. If you come home, and your loved one’s pantry or cabinets are empty during the holiday season, or perhaps there just isn’t a lot of food, or it is expired, it may be time for some help. The process of buying groceries is often difficult as we get older.

Additionally, since we are less sensitive to heat and cold as we get older, sometimes our loved ones just skip meals because they have a harder time preparing meals like they used to. If you notice that your loved one is losing weight, they may be doing this.

A professional caregiver can help by coming in on a daily or weekly basis to both help ensure that there are groceries in the house, and that there are meals readily available for your loved one to enjoy when they’re hungry.

Tip #3 – Personality Changes

One of the first signs that your parent or loved one is struggling can be personality changes. For example, if your loud and boisterous father who always has a story is quiet and subdued, or your kind and patient mother is suddenly getting angry at the smallest things, then it might be time to take a trip to the doctor to see what’s going on.

If there’s not much medically happening, then it may simply be the stress, and a caregiver stopping in once a week to help with errands, grocery shopping, light cleaning, and other tasks can help your loved one feel more balanced and reduce that stress.

The holidays are a great time to be with family, but if you’re noticing that something isn’t quite right when you’re home, then it might be time to have a conversation about what kind of help they might need so that they are able to stay in their homes just a little bit longer, if that is their desire.

If you’re needing help finding a way to broach the subject, don’t forget that Homewatch CareGivers of Ellicott City is here for you. It is always a privilege to provide our clients with compassionate and professional assistance. Don’t hesitate to contact us today if you have more questions or keep browsing our website for more information.