One of the greatest joys of the holiday season lies in having the opportunity to walk away from your daily responsibilities and spend real quality time with loved ones. If you have elderly relatives who you will be visiting over the next few weeks, make sure that you set aside some time to have meaningful conversations with them. Their experiences have often led to great wisdom that we’re too often busy to hear. Unfortunately, their advancing years can also lead to some negative effects, including diminished memory and failing health. As much as you want to enjoy your time with them, you should also look for signs that they may be in need of help. At Bratton Scott we are experienced elder law attorneys who have extensive insights and services that we can offer you and your family. When you need assistance, we are here for you.
If you have elderly relatives, you may find yourself walking a fine line between wanting them to continue to be independent and being concerned about their level of engagement and their abilities. Though a certain amount of forgetfulness is normal, there comes a time when you may need to speak up and help them deal with the physical and mental challenges that come with age. There are several common warning signs that you should watch out: seeing them may lead to the need for a serious conversation about life planning. Some of these signs include:
- A declining ability to take care of themselves. This may include simple hygiene issues such as failing to bathe or brush their teeth, or changes to the way that they do things around the house. If you see that they are neglecting household chores or forgetting food on the stove, it should trigger a conversation.
- It’s okay if your elderly relative forgets where they’ve put their glasses or the remote control, but not remembering family members’ names or how to get home is something entirely different.
- If your family member is still driving, you may want to make an excuse to take a drive with them to gauge how well their skills have held up. If they are getting lost or are no longer able to drive safely, action needs to be taken.
- Pay close attention to your elderly relative’s mood and level of engagement. If they are in good spirits and seem happy and connected with friends and family, that’s terrific – but if they seem withdrawn or depressed, there might be signs that they are suffering from health issues, or even depression.
At Bratton Scott, we offer a wide range of Life Care Planning services that can help address many of the issues that specifically face people as they approach their golden years. Contact us today to make an appointment with our Elder Care Coordinator to get valuable information on how to ensure that all of the important questions and concerns that you have for your elderly relative are addressed.