The Questions You Need Answered During Holiday Visits With Seniors

The Questions You Need Answered During Holiday Visits With Seniors

It’s been months since you’ve had the chance for a nice, long visit with Mom. Now that the holidays are here, you’ll have some quality time to catch up. Naturally, you will want to make the most of this time with each other, but it is also the ideal time to assess how she is really doing, and if you're picking up on any changes in her health that perhaps have gone undetected through phone conversations and FaceTime. Holiday visits with seniors provide the perfect opportunity to get a closer look at any potential areas for concern to ensure safety and wellbeing.

To help you think through areas you may wish to evaluate, we’ve compiled the following list of questions. Some of these questions you may wish to ask the senior outright, while others may be answered by observing the home environment and the person herself.

Physical/Mental Health

  • Do you notice any bruises or other injuries that could indicate a fall?
  • Is she eating more or less than usual?
  • Has she gained or lost weight?
  • Is she actively engaged in enjoyable activities?
  • Is she having trouble falling or staying asleep?
  • Does the senior seem to be moving more slowly and cautiously?
  • Is she spending time with friends?
  • Does she seem happy and content?
  • Does she seem short of breath?
  • Is she stumbling or holding onto furniture or the wall to get around?

Cognitive Functioning

  • Is she struggling to remember the names of familiar people or objects?
  • Does the senior seem more forgetful or confused than usual?
  • Are there pieces of mail and bills that have not been opened?
  • Is she misplacing items, only to find them in unexpected places, such as the car keys in the refrigerator?
  • Is she repeating questions or statements in conversations?
  • Are you noticing any unusual behaviors?

Elder/Financial Abuse

  • Are there any changes in her banking activity?
  • Is she communicating with strangers online?
  • Does the senior seem more timid or anxious than usual?
  • Has she provided anyone with personal information over the phone or internet?
  • Does she suddenly have a new “friendship” with someone whose motives may be questionable?
  • Has she cosigned for a loan for anyone? 

Home Maintenance

  • Is the laundry clean and put away?
  • Is there clutter in the home that could pose a fall risk?
  • Are there any hazards you’re noticing, such as scorch marks on pans or the countertop that could indicate inattention to cooking?
  • Is the home cleaned to the senior’s typical standards?
  • Is the yard maintained?
  • Are the bed linens being changed regularly?

If you are in any way concerned about a senior’s safety or wellbeing, no matter how small, home care can help. Contact Amy’s Helping Hands, the award-winning provider of elder care in Windsor, Ontario and the surrounding areas, at 519-915-4370 for more information and to schedule an in-home consultation.