December 19, 2023

A family is discussing the health of aging parents as they enjoy a holiday meal together.

Discussing the health of aging parents during holiday visits can help you formulate a plan that everyone can get on board with.

Returning home for the holidays can be a heartwarming experience, filled with festive cheer and the joy of reuniting with loved ones. However, for many adult children, the holiday season also serves as a reality check, unveiling subtle changes in the health and well-being of aging parents that may have gone unnoticed throughout the year. If you’ve recently observed Mom’s increasing forgetfulness or noticed that Dad isn’t walking as steadily as he once did, you’re not alone in facing the challenges of addressing potential care needs during the holiday visit.

During seasonal gatherings, it’s not uncommon to witness shifts in the health and behavior of family members or friends. This presents a unique opportunity to broach the topic of extra care in a supportive environment. Discussing the health of aging parents and coming up with a care plan requires sensitivity and thoughtful communication. Here are some tips to navigate this delicate discussion:

  • Share Your Concerns: Open and honest communication is crucial. Express your worries about their health openly, conveying genuine concern. Knowing that their well-being is on your mind may motivate them to seek medical advice or make necessary lifestyle changes.
  • Create a Sense of Planning: Frame the conversation around concrete observations. Share specific instances that have raised concerns and inquire about their perspective on the situation. Ask for their input on potential solutions, fostering a collaborative approach to care planning.
  • Address Safety Issues: Take a walk around the home and identify any potential safety hazards. Discuss these issues with your loved one and collaboratively develop a plan to address them. Prioritizing safety concerns can be a persuasive way to emphasize the necessity of a care plan.
  • Encourage a Regular Medical Checkup: Stress the importance of regular medical checkups. Offer to assist in scheduling the visit, accompany them to the doctor, or help find someone else to attend the appointment. Emphasize that routine checkups are essential for maintaining overall health and catching potential issues early.
  • Contact the Doctor for Guidance: If your loved one dismisses your concerns, consider reaching out to their doctor directly. Obtain the necessary permissions to discuss their medical information with the healthcare provider. Sharing your insights can provide valuable context, aiding the doctor in understanding potential health issues during upcoming visits.

It’s essential to recognize that the initial conversations about care may not always go smoothly. Patience is key, and decisions don’t need to be rushed. What matters is that your loved ones understand your genuine concerns and that you are committed to working together to create a plan that suits their needs.

Should you find discussing the health of aging parents and broaching the subject of in-home care challenging, the expert caregivers at Continuum in St. Charles, Sunset Hills, Clayton, and neighboring areas are ready to offer assistance. Our expertise can guide you through the process of discussing and implementing a care plan tailored to your loved one’s unique needs. Taking proactive steps during the holiday season can contribute to enhanced well-being and a more secure future for your aging family members. Reach out to us anytime online or at (314) 863-9912 or (636) 861-3336.