The Merion Shares What To Watch For With Aging Parents This Holiday Season

The holiday season is one of spirituality, 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. “Increasingly, families are spread across the country, and find their only together time is during the holidays,” said Margaret Gergen, director of leasing at The Merion. “What we often hear is that being face-to-face with mom or dad for the first time in months, is alarming because of decline in health or independence. It’s a time when adult children 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.

Gergen listed signs to watch for with aging parents who are still living in their home, that might indicate that it’s time to make a change.

“Appearances are everything when it comes to assessing a senior’s well-being,” said Gergen. “Certainly you want to see that your parents are carrying out their everyday hygiene, dressing and grooming behaviors. Additionally, you want to be alert for bruises or scrapes that may indicate that mom or dad has fallen or banged into furniture. You also want to watch for mobility issues or lack of steadiness.”

Gergen added that the appearance of the home is also full of clues as to a parent’s well being “Not only is it unhealthy to live in a household that’s dirty, and dangerous to live in one that’s cluttered, but the change may signify a declining ability to care for the home.”

Adult children should check parents’ prescription bottles to ensure that medication management isn’t an issue. “Look at the date of the prescriptions, and also whether or not the number of pills remaining is what it should be. You want to make sure that mom or dad is remembering to take their meds, and conversely, not taking more than they should due to confusion.”

Gergen said that weight loss in and of itself is not uncommon with seniors, as they often experience declining appetite as well as loss of their sense of smell or taste. “Though weight loss is shocking, 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,” she said.

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

At The Merion, she said, we address all of these concerns and more. “Adult children tell us again and again, that they wish their parents had moved here much earlier. Living here, they have healthy, world-class meals, regular housekeeping, access to wonderful activities and a state-of-the-art fitness center, an onsite wellness center with a 24-hour staff, and lots of new friends. And perhaps most importantly, peace of mind that their parents are in good hands.”

The Merion is a luxury senior apartment community for active, independent retirees seeking a hassle-free rental home in Evanston. Formerly known as The North Shore Hotel, The Merion has been totally renovated with upscale finishes and amenities.

As seen in the Chicago Tribune.