Because many families have loved ones scattered around the country, face-to-face gatherings might only take place a few times a year. During phone calls throughout the year, an aging parent or family elder might say they are doing fine and don’t need anything. Then a trip home during the holidays suggests otherwise.

Sometimes, adult children and family members aren’t sure if the changes they see in their senior loved one are normal signs of aging or something else. They also wonder how to tell if an older adult is safe at home or if it’s time to consider making changes.

Having the family together in person might provide an opportunity to talk about a senior loved one’s hopes for the future and where they see themselves living as they grow older. You might be surprised to discover an independent senior wants help but hasn’t known how to go about finding it.

What to Look for during a Holiday Visit with a Senior?

If you will be traveling to an aging parent’s or grandparent’s home during the holiday season and it’s been a while since you’ve visited in person, you may notice some changes. It could be the condition of their house and yard or their personal appearance.

“Warning Signs an Aging Parent Needs Help” is a good article to review and learn from. It can help you identify if the changes you notice in a senior loved one are normal signs of aging or a red flag for something more serious. It can be tough to distinguish between the two sometimes.

If you decide a family member does need a little extra help, whether it’s home care or a transition to assisted living, it can be difficult to figure out what to do next. Just bringing up the subject can be awkward. In fact, adult children often avoid having this discussion entirely and just hope for the best. Then a crisis occurs and families are forced to rush what should be a more thoughtful process of finding care.

Even if you initially think of it as a backup plan, becoming familiar with senior care options is important. The holidays are a great time to visit an assisted living community.

Why Families Should Visit Senior Living during the Holidays?

While it may seem like a terrible time to visit an assisted living community, the opposite is usually true. Communities are often festively decorated and have a wide range of activities taking place. Here are just a few reasons to schedule a tour when you are home for the holidays.

  • Faraway family members can participate.

When an older adult is beginning the search for an assisted living community, it’s important to visit in person at least once. It’s even better if you can tour the community several times. Having different sets of eyes evaluate any community you are seriously considering is helpful.

  • Enjoy the social life.

One of the most popular benefits of assisted living communities is the wide variety of social opportunities residents have. During the holidays, things are even more lively. Most communities are festively decorated and bustling with activity. High school choirs often perform, youth groups visit, and special family nights filled with goodies are planned.

  • Meet current residents and their families.

Just as your family is reuniting during the holidays, so are those of assisted living residents. When you schedule a tour, ask if you will have an opportunity to talk with current residents and their family members. This can help you gain a personal understanding of a community’s strengths and weaknesses.

  • Beat the post-holiday rush.

January is a busy time of year in assisted living communities. The phones are ringing with families who realized that their loved one needs help after a holiday visit. You can beat the post-holiday rush by exploring your options before the end of the year. Another bonus of visiting and planning a move now is that you will have first choice from open or soon-to-be-open apartments. If the community has a wait list, your senior loved one can be placed on it sooner.

Schedule a Holiday Visit to Heritage

With locations all across Michigan and one in Indiana, you’ll likely find a Heritage community near you. We invite you to call today to set up your private tour!