Going home for the holidays can bring a rush of memories flooding back. Our minds often go back to the traditions we grew up with, and the years we spent under our parents’ wings. As we grow older, and the time spent in our childhood home becomes less and less, it can be shocking to return home to find that life has changed.
Perhaps the once stocked refrigerator is now all but empty, or where there was once plenty of fresh produce, there is now junk food. Your parents may need help getting to the store, or preparing meals.
Did your mother once keep an immaculate house, but know it seems she has lost her feather duster and vacuum? Is your dad keeping piles of newspapers or magazines? Mobility issues could be causing a lack of housework and organization.
Take a look at your parents’ medication. Are they due for a refill but still have half a bottle of pills? Perhaps the bottle is empty, but no new bottle has taken its place. Medication mismanagement can be a scary and serious issue. They may need assistance getting their medication and remembering to take it.
You may see a pile of mail that has gone unopened. It is common for those with dementia to not be able to keep up with bills and correspondence, or perhaps your parents are having financial issues limiting their ability to pay the bills.
If there are any red flags when you visit, it’s important to remember to stay calm and speak with your parents. Remember that they are not only adults, but your parents. Be respectful when you express your concerns and ask them if they have ideas to help that you could assist with.
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