Hooray, you’re home visiting for the holidays! It’s time to catch up with some old friends, take the family to your favorite restaurant, and visit mom. But as you pull into her driveway, hungry for her famous country smoked ham, you notice that her house looks a little neglected this year. The driveway is coated with slippery ice, and the sidewalk looks like mom just cleared a thin path her feet rather than shovel the entire walk.
As you step into the house, you notice that it feels cold and a noticeable draft is coming through one of the doors. The place is spotless and tidy, just as mom has always kept it, but all the curtains are shut tight and the house feels dark, worn, and lonely.
The kids run to the guest room to see if mom has put home made chocolates under their pillows like she always does – but there are no chocolates waiting to greet them, just a couple of store-bought candies. There is no Christmas tree and when you ask about it, mom says that it’s just too much trouble to bring all the decorations out and put up the tree. She says she’s keeping it simple these days – she usually eats a TV dinner at night, and drinks a cup of coffee in the morning, and most days she skips lunch.
Many adult children are familiar with this experience. It’s easy to assume that dad or mom is doing okay – they are taking care of the house and the bills, and they don’t complain, so nothing must be wrong. But in reality dad is finding that it’s harder to do things than it used to be, and some things he really can’t do at all. Mom is going out less, staying quiet at home, and she seems withdrawn – there are just too many things that need to be done.
It may be upsetting to realize that a loved one or senior is suffering and refusing to ask for help. It can also be difficult to stay connected to an aging parent who doesn’t live nearby, and this lack of personal connection can cause your senior to neglect things they once enjoyed.
Start talking with your senior about assisted living now, before the winter season begins. Here are a few reasons why you might want to move your loved one to a senior living community before winter worries appear:
- Taking care of a home in winter can be difficult, including the challenges of slippery stairs and walkways, muddy lawns, and inclement weather.
- Drafts from doors and windows may be too hard for your loved one to fix and seniors may be reluctant to ask for help, leaving them in a cold house.
- Gutter and roof maintenance is too dangerous for most seniors to manage themselves. Winter weather can cause roof leaks and other damage seniors may not be aware of.
- Stiff joints hurt more in cold weather, making activities like shopping, cooking, cleaning, and repairs painful.
- The inability to travel can leave many seniors feeling isolated and neglected during a season that already lends itself to loneliness and depression.
- Accidents and falls due to winter weather and built up ice can injure a senior and leave them stranded with no way to get help.
Seniors who have issues with mobility find winter weather especially difficult – shoveling snow, cleaning gutters, and removing leaves are just a few of the seasonal chores that seniors may have no way to tackle. Senior living communities offers stress free living and allow seniors to enjoy the kind of safety and security that can make the holiday and every day enjoyable. Residents in assisted living communities have access to activities, social groups, medical care, transportation, healthy meals, and technology that can keep them connected to family and friends.
A senior living community is a fantastic way to keep your senior vibrant, engaged, and safe while making it easier to enjoy winter and the holidays. Discuss an assisted living community with your senior today and find an easier way to get through winter!