How To Enjoy Productive Holiday Visits with Seniors

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posted by Ted Ryan on December 16, 2013

For many long-distance caregivers and family members, holiday visits can be eye-opening. Spending time together may reveal aspects of a senior loved one’s condition that aren’t noticeable over the phone.

Naturally, visits should be spent cherishing one another’s company, but it’s also good to observe changes or concerns in an individual’s condition. Spotting and addressing concerns before they progress allows a senior to remain at home longer by bringing in a bit of outside help.

Below are some of the things to watch for during holiday visits:

Physical Changes

  • Weight change
  • Balance issues
  • Discomfort walking
  • Sleeping too much or little
  • Struggling to go from seated to standing position
  • Unexplained bruises or injuries

Emotional Well-Being

  • Engagement in normal routines (e.g., grocery shopping, reading the newspaper)
  • Changes in social engagement
  • Lost interest in previous hobbies
  • Decline in grooming habits and personal care


  • Expired or unused prescription bottles (You may need help from others to keep an eye out for this)

Home Environment

  • Decrease in household upkeep, or trouble with once regular tasks
  • Stacks of unopened mail
  • Unpaid (or late) bills
  • Expired or spoiling food
  • Leaving the stove on
  • Unexplained dents and scratches on the car
  • Are pets being well cared for?

Some concerns may not necessitate outside help but should always be addressed with your loved one and/or their primary care physician. If you would like, a Seniors Home Care registered nurse can perform a complimentary assessment with you and your loved one. This no-commitment assessment is a great opportunity to get a professional opinion and utilize our experience and references.

If you have any questions or we may help in any way, please contact us.

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