Tips to Recognize Senior Care Needs When Visiting Over the Holidays

chicago home careIt’s holiday time again, which means it’s also time for the “holiday reality check.” If you haven’t seen your elderly loved ones in a while, now is a good time to take stock of how your senior loved ones are doing. With busy schedules or long distances separating families for much of the year, subtle (or not-so-subtle) indicators can easily be missed. Keep a lookout for the following signs that additional care may be needed, and keep in mind that checking for warning signs is not for the purposes of judgment or criticism; it’s a check for wellness, wellbeing and safety.

Physical appearance: An unexpected disheveled appearance of a loved one may be noticed during a holiday visit. Failure to keep up with daily hygiene routines such as bathing, tooth brushing and other basic grooming could indicate health problems such as dementia, depression, or physical impairments. Inspect to see if clothes are clean and if the individual appears to be maintaining good grooming habits.

Weight loss: At the dinner table, appetites may appear to be healthy during the holidays, but noticeable weight loss without trying could be a sign that something’s wrong. For the elderly, weight loss could be related to many factors, including difficulty cooking or loss of taste or smell. Sometimes weight loss is a sign of a more serious underlying condition, such as malnutrition, dementia, depression, or even cancer.

Appearance of the home: Any big changes in the way things are done around the house could provide clues to health. For example, scorched pots could mean forgetting about food cooking on the stove. Neglected housework could be a sign of depression, dementia, or other problems. Check to see if the lights are working, the heat is on, the bathrooms are clean, or if clutter is blocking the walkways of the home.

If you notice signs like an unkempt home, unexplained weight loss, or other general personality changes, talk to your senior loved one about his or her care options. While it may seem easier to put off tough conversations until after the holidays, it’s better not to wait until a real crisis hits. Be realistic with your expectations, and realize that your loved one may resist the conversation at first. The important thing at this time is to open the lines of communication.

Need help starting the home care conversation with a loved one this holiday season? Call the Chicago home care experts at AAbiding Care at 847-698-1400 today for information about home care services in the greater Chicago area.

AAbiding Care’s Holiday Home Decorating Tips for Safe Holidays for Seniors

Chicago home care for seniorsThe holidays present a special opportunity for you to visit with senior loved ones that you may not have been able to spend a lot of quality time with for a while. It is also a great time to make sure that your senior loved one’s holiday is safe as well as festive. Whether your loved one is enjoying the season in your home or his or her own, following these safety tips can ensure that everyone’s holiday is happy and bright.


In the senior’s home, or yours if he or she will be spending time there:

  • Use simple decorations that don’t cause clutter. Always ensure that there is plenty of room to walk.
  • Keep extension cords out of the way to avoid tripping.
  • Replace candles with bright centerpieces of fruit or flowers, or consider using battery powered candles.


While we often like to enjoy the colorful holiday lighting on its own, keep these things in mind when seniors are around:

  • Make sure that all locations are properly lit. Dim holiday lights can hide tripping hazards and make it difficult to see around furniture.
  • Add a nightlight in the guest bedroom and bathroom and make sure light switches are easily accessible.

Floor Safety:

With all the decorations, tripping hazards can become an issue for seniors during the holidays, so remember to:

  • Keep floors clutter-free.
  • Keep outdoor walkways clear.
  • Arrange furniture so people can easily move around it.
  • Add non-slip pads under rugs.
  • Keep rambunctious pets from running around while the senior is walking through the house.
  • Designate a special out-of-the-way area for children to play with their new toys while the senior is visiting.

It’s important to recognize the special care needs of seniors during the holiday season in order to make their home, or visits to your home, safe and fun. If you’d like more information on home modifications to help make holidays safer for seniors, or any other in-home senior care needs, contact the Chicago home care experts at AAbiding Care through our online form or by calling 847-698-1400.

Call Now ButtonCLICK TO CALL