Worried about your parents this Christmas?

Source: Flickr

When we’re leading all-too-busy lives it’s definitely a win if you can fit in the occasional call or visit to family members. Around this time of year, when there are celebrations and events appearing on the calendar, and life seems even busier, are you starting to get worried about your elderly parents?

In the rush to get everything done before the holiday period, you’re starting to tune in to a few nagging thoughts - maybe you should check in more often, should you be keeping a closer eye on them?

It's not surprising, many families notice subtle changes with their elderly relatives during the Christmas period.

So how do you know if subtle changes are 'normal' and more importantly what to do?

We have put together a list of the 'not to miss signs' it's time for help with home care options this Christmas:

1. Forgetfulness
Perhaps your parents repeat themselves a bit more or they have forgotten something they would always remember - like making the plum pudding! We are all a bit forgetful from time to time however if it as become out of character this is a little different.

2. Falls
Your mother gets up from the Christmas table a little stiff and you ask if she is ok? "Oh yes" she replies, "I just had a little stumble the other day". More often than not phrases such as "a little stumble" often hide the embarrassment of a 'decent fall'. Having a fall in the last 6 months increases the risk of another fall, so be aware.

3. Frailty
Has the time come when your parents have decided to forgo hosting the Christmas lunch? Is it all just getting a bit hard? They used to love this time of year. Day to day tasks becoming a bit more difficult can be a sign of increasing frailty. Seek help earlier rather than later!

4. Isolation
Staying connected to family, friends, and neighbours is so important for physical and mental well being. However, it can be more difficult as people age due to health issues, reduced mobility or difficulty accessing transport. Have your parents mentioned they are not getting out as much as they used to? Perhaps they have not visited friends for some time?

5. Mental Health
One in five Australians experience a mental health condition such as depression and anxiety (Department of Health, 2009). Older people are also vulnerable to mental health conditions. Don't miss the opportunity to chat with your parents this Christmas to see how they are really feeling.

So what do you do when your parents get old and you notice some of these signs?

Home care is a great alternative to living in a residential aged care facility. Home care may include services in the home, allied health, case management, equipment, and planning for the future.

Home care is a great way to introduce your parents to aged care supports, whilst maintaining independence and safety.

Seeking help with home care often begins with My Aged Care. Unfortunately, it is a system many families find overwhelming and confusing.

You might benefit from Empower Aged Care’s My Aged Care Made Easy service to untangle the complex requirements.

Need help with Home Care? 

Speak with Nicole Dunn 0404 444 985


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