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Senior Helpers: The Holidays with Your Older Loved Ones

The Holiday Season is usually a time of joy and celebration. If you have an older loved one in the family, you may find that things are not always so festive.

The holidays can make your senior loved one feel lonely, especially if they have lost their spouse. Family get-togethers just don’t seem the same anymore. Family members who don’t live nearby often come home to find that things just aren’t the same as they used to be with their elderly relatives.

Once it is clear that a senior loved one isn’t able to make it on their own anymore, the stress of the situation can be difficult. You may find that you need to have a family meeting to make a plan. It’s a good idea to choose a time and place that is separate from traditional family activities, maybe going out to lunch, instead of at the annual family holiday dinner.

If possible, the person leading the meeting should be the elderly relative who anticipates needing care in the future. Encourage discussion and get input from everyone. Make sure everyone has a chance to make their feelings known. Don’t try to plan for the next few years. Circumstances change. Plan for the next six months and agree to meet at that point to discuss if the plan is working and agreeable to all parties. Work out the financial details and write it down.

The holidays are often the time when everyone gets together. Sometimes those who live out-of-town realize that things have changed and grandma or grandpa is struggling to be on her or his own. How do you know that your loved one might need some help? Here are a few things to look for.

Do you notice weight loss? Poor eating habits can result in weight loss, no appetite, or missed meals.

Is hygiene being neglected? Do they wear dirty clothes, and are their nails and teeth neglected? Is the house not as clean or sanitary as you remember growing up?

Are there changes in behavior, like acting loud, quiet, paranoid, or making phone calls at all hours? Have relationship patterns changed with friends or neighbors? Is there decreased participation in activities such as attending senior centers, book club, or church?

Are there signs like burns or injuries resulting from weakness, forgetfulness, or misuse of alcohol or medications?

How about scorched pots and pans showing forgetfulness for dinner cooking on the stove? Is mail unopened mail, newspapers piling up, appointments missed? Pay attention to mishandled finances such as losing money, paying bills twice, or hiding money.

If you notice these signs, it may be time to consider getting some extra help for your loved one. Senior Helpers is a nationally recognized professional of non-medical in-home senior care services. They offer a variety of services, including personal and companion care, peace of mind visits, sitter services, veteran’s services and more.

Senior Helpers caregivers are trained, licensed, bonded, and insured, and they are thoroughly screened per MD state licensure guidelines. Caregivers are available from an hour a day up to 24 hours per day. If your loved one may benefit from the services of Senior Helpers, call the office at (410) 305-0888 or Contact Us.