Family Matters at Holiday Time

By Linda Jordan, Seniors Real Estate Specialist –

With the holidays around the corner, many families will gather for the first time in months or even a year or more. It is at this time that family members may notice conditions of aging affecting mom and dad’s health and safety. This realization can open a conversation. Is it time to consider a more senior supportive environment?

Tell-tale clues are things like expired food or bare pantries/refrigerators, home cleanliness appears neglected, increased clutter of items like magazines and newspapers, mail stacks with unpaid bills and neglected hygiene.

Linda Jordan.

While these conversations may be difficult to initiate, it’s important to begin these discussions long before a crisis occurs. Start with some casual conversations to plant seeds. Consider using these ice breakers: Say something like, “I’ve noticed some things take more energy these days. What are the important things you really want to do?” Or “What are your priorities? Is there a way we can make it easier for you to do those things?” Mention how much you admire the way they’ve handled retirement and ask for advice on what has worked well for them so that you can learn from them. Use an event in the news or a story about an aging family member or friend to help start the conversation.

Approach the conversation a-round the most important considerations for older adults: safety, freedom, peace of mind, social connection and being able to make choices. It’s a great opportunity for meaningful communication that will benefit all in the days ahead.