Noticing Changes in Your Parents’ Health Over the Holidays? Take These Steps.

A woman talks with her mother during dinner, knowing how important it is to watch for changes in your parents’ health over the holidays.

Take note of any changes in your parents’ health during holiday visits, and then take the steps outlined here.

Returning home for the holidays can be a heartwarming experience, filled with cherished moments and family traditions. However, it can also serve as a stark reality check, revealing changes in your parents’ health and well-being that may have gone unnoticed throughout the year. If you’ve recently observed your mom’s increasing forgetfulness or noticed that your dad isn’t walking as well as he was last year, you’re not alone. The holiday season often becomes a crucial time for adult children to assess their loved ones’ health care needs.

Recognizing changes in the health of your parents during a seasonal visit is a common occurrence, and it can be an opportune time to initiate discussions about the necessity of home health care services. With family and friends gathered for support, consider approaching the conversation about a care plan with your loved one using the following tips:

  • Share your concerns: Open and honest communication is key. Express your worries about their health and well-being. Let them know that you’ve observed changes and that you care deeply about their welfare. This acknowledgment might motivate them to seek medical advice or make necessary lifestyle adjustments.
  • Collaborate to come up with a plan: When discussing your observations, provide concrete examples and encourage your loved one to share their perspective. Ask what they think might be happening and involve them in brainstorming potential solutions. Creating a sense of planning together can make the conversation more collaborative and less overwhelming.
  • Address safety issues: Take note of any potential safety hazards in the home and discuss them with your parents. Work together on developing a plan to address these issues, ensuring their living environment is safe and conducive to their well-being.
  • Encourage a regular medical checkup: Suggest the importance of a regular medical checkup. Offer to schedule the visit or accompany them to the doctor’s appointment. If they prefer, help them find someone else to attend the visit. Regular checkups can aid in early detection of health issues and ensure timely intervention.
  • Contact the doctor for guidance: If your loved one dismisses your concerns, consider reaching out to their doctor directly. Obtain the necessary permissions to discuss their medical information and share your observations with the medical staff. Your insights may provide valuable context for the doctor and help guide their assessment during upcoming visits.

Initiating conversations about changes in your parents’ health can be challenging, and it’s crucial to recognize that decisions don’t need to be made immediately. What matters most is conveying your concerns and expressing a willingness to work collaboratively on a plan that suits their needs.

If you find the need for skilled home health care services for someone you love, reach out to Harmony Home Health & Hospice, serving Salt Lake City, Tooele, Ogden, and the surrounding areas, at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE (1-877-463-3322) to learn how we can help.