Home for the Holidays, Adult Children May Notice Changes in Aging Parents
The holidays are a time for families to gather, sometimes from far and wide. Adult children and relatives are likely to spend more extended, concentrated time with aging family members during the winter holidays. While they're visiting and making up for lost time, they may also notice changes in their loved ones that they didn't see before.
While some changes may be striking, others may be harder to put a finger on. It might be a slight slip in memory, a little more difficulty getting in and out of a chair, less attention to hygiene, or any number of observances that make adult children wonder if something is "different" about mom or dad.
While each individual is unique and has his or her own baseline, changes outside the norm for older adults might include personal neglect, mobility issues, memory impairment, chronic health problems, social inactivity, questionable judgment, poor housekeeping, dramatic weight loss, driving incidents, monetary mishaps, and more.
"It's hard to watch our parents decline, but we can't afford not to take notice and, if necessary, take action," said Scott Swanson, president and CEO of The Danish Home of Chicago, a 128-year-old boutique senior community in the historic neighborhood of Norwood Park.
Swanson and others at The Danish Home have put together a four-part guide for adult children and relatives exploring: 1) signs an aging loved one may need help; 2) how to have constructive conversations; 3) where to find reputable resources; and 4) how to find a living situation amenable to both seniors and their families. Available to download at www.danishhomeofchicago.org, this free guide requires no provision of personal information.
"Seniors and their children need to know their options and how to begin to explore them," said Swanson. "Our objective is to give them a starting point, regardless of their ultimate decision."
Augmenting the online guide is a lecture series The Danish Home will host onsite in the new year. This series will examine several factors affecting senior citizens, including changing care needs, financial implications and the importance of communal dining and sociability. Experts in each of these areas will lead discussion, and guests will enjoy food and beverage and an opportunity to ask questions.
The Danish Home also opens its doors anytime to adult children, prospective residents or anyone wishing to tour the community and enjoy a complimentary lunch. This may be especially helpful to those visiting family during the holidays.
"Our doors are always open to anyone wishing to learn more about senior living options. And you can't beat our chef's great cooking for lunch on us!" said Swanson.
Established in 1891 and nestled in the historic neighborhood of Norwood Park, The Danish Home of Chicago is a not-for-profit, boutique continuing care retirement community that offers a secure, loving environment for residents of all backgrounds and heritages. For additional information or a private tour with complimentary lunch, call (773) 775-7383, ext. 4. Watch for more information about The Danish Home's lecture series at www.danishhomeofchicago.org.