What to Watch for with Aging Parents

December 13, 2016

The holiday season is one of connection, celebration and joy. For adult children who are visiting aging parents, perhaps for the first time in awhile, it’s also an excellent time to take note of how they are doing. “With families often spread out across the country, holidays are sometimes the only time that they’re all together,” said David Sherman, director of operations at The Merion. “Seeing one’s aging parents for the first time in awhile may be alarming if there’s a decline in health, independence or mobility. This is the point at which adult children might realize that their parents would be much safer, healthier, and engaged, living in a community such as The Merion.”


Located in the heart of downtown Evanston, The Merion is a luxury, independent living senior rental community. “At The Merion, seniors have access to maintenance-free living with amenities that will make their lives easier and more fulfilling. Furthermore, with a 24/7 on-site wellness center, any type of help that may be needed is always available,” said Sherman.


He listed signs to watch for that might indicate that aging parents who are still living in their home, would benefit dramatically from a change.


“Appearances are everything when it comes to assessing a senior’s well-being,” said Sherman. “You want to see that your parents are carrying out their everyday hygiene, dressing and grooming behaviors. You also want to be alert for cuts or bruises that may indicate that your mother or father has fallen or banged into furniture. You also want to watch to make sure that your folks are moving around steadily.”


Sherman added that the appearance of the home is also full of clues as to a parent’s well being “It’s unhealthy to live in a household that’s dirty. Furthermore, it’s dangerous to live in one that’s cluttered. Your mom or dad may be having a difficult time keeping up with the house.”


Adult children should check parents’ prescription bottles to ensure that medication management isn’t a problem that would likely cause a worse problem. “The date of the prescriptions and the number of pills remaining should coincide,” said Sherman.


Dramatic weight loss might indicate there’s a problem. “You want to make sure that your parents don’t have a serious health issue including depression, haven’t lost their ability to prepare meals for themselves, or are unnecessarily worried about budgeting for food,” he said.


Perhaps one of the most common concerns for an aging parent, especially during the winter, is social withdrawal. “Isolation is terrible for both physical and mental health,” said Sherman. “As one ages, they don’t lose the need for positive social engagement. It just often becomes more difficult to find.”


At The Merion, he said, all of these concerns and more are addressed. “Adult children always tell us that they wish their parents had moved here much earlier. Living here, they have amazing five-star dining, regular housekeeping, access to wonderful activities, a state-of-the-art fitness center, an onsite wellness center with a 24-hour staff, and lots of new friends. And an added perk is that the adult children enjoy peace of mind that their parents are in good hands.”


View in Evanston Patch.


The Merion is a luxury senior living rental community located in the heart of Evanston, steps away from Northwestern University and the beaches of Lake Michigan. An independent living community, The Merion boasts an on-site Wellness Center operating 24/7. The Merion’s unique partnership with nearby Symphony of Evanston which offers rehabilitation, assures that residents can be cared for, when and if their health needs change, within close proximity of their apartment. The Merion is the Preferred Senior Living Community of Northwestern University Athletics. For additional information, visit www.MerionEvanston.com or call 847-253-7941.