With the holidays just days away, many area families are planning to reunite with elderly relatives, possibly after months or even years since the last visit.
Along with the dearth of time spent together, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and other relatives of older adults who serve as their caregivers often find that it’s during these holiday visits that they notice things about them changing. And oftentimes, it’s not for the better.
In a Nov. 6 article on AgingCare.com, aging care and planning consultant Gail M. Smaha writes that “a significant number of caregivers rely on regular telephone conversations and check-ins by other closer-living relatives to gauge an aging loved one’s well-being,” citing a recent study by the Family Caregiver Alliance’s National Center on Caregiving.
“Unfortunately, age-related decline can happen quickly, and in many cases, seniors are skilled at concealing new and worsening problems,” Smaha’s article reads. “For many of these families, holiday visits are the only opportunity for them to observe a senior in person, so it’s important to pay close attention to their physical and mental health and their living situation.”