Be Sure to Ask These Questions During Holiday Visits With Seniors

Happy senior woman holding a coffee cup
During holiday visits with seniors, ask these questions to see if respite care is needed.

It’s been quite some time since you have had the opportunity for a good, long visit with Mom. Now that the holiday season is here, you will 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 a great time to assess how she is really doing, and if you can detect any changes in her health that may have gone unnoticed through phone calls and FaceTime. Holiday visits with seniors can provide you with the in-depth knowledge you need.

To help you think through areas of potential concern to assess, our care team has compiled the list of questions below. You may wish to ask some of these questions to the senior outright, while others can be answered by evaluating the home environment and the person.

Mental/Physical Health

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

Cognitive Health

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

Financial/Elder Abuse

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

Home Maintenance

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

If you have any concerns about a senior’s safety or well-being, no matter how small, home care can help. Get in touch with Serenity Home Care, the leading provider of in-home help for seniors in Sooke and nearby areas, at 250.590.8098 for more information.