Courtesy of the National Center on Elder Abuse

Home for the Holidays

For many of us, the holidays offer a once-a-year time to visit with elderly relatives who live at a distance. These holiday visits are a good time to assess what assistance parents or other elderly loved ones might need to safely age in their homes. There are many things to consider. Prepare a checklist of things to look out for and to discuss with your elderly loved one.

It might include questions such as:
• Does an elderly loved one require help with chores or housekeeping, bathing, dressing, shopping and meal preparation, managing money, transportation or medications?

• Are they isolated? How often do they socialize with others?

• If living with another, are they dependent on that person for care? Is that person an appropriate caregiver? Does the caregiver understand the medical conditions that the elder has?

• During your visit, keep an eye out for warning signs of self-neglect, or abuse or neglect by others (see below). Remember that most elder abusers are related to the older person.

• If, before you make your trip, you suspect that your loved one needs extra assistance, plan a longer stay so that you can visit local aging service organizations, physicians and attorneys during regular work hours.


For more, visit the National Center on Elder Abuse resource page:

or download their PDF at: