Gathering with family? Here’s how to spot whether older loved ones need assistance

This article, Gathering With Family? was first published on December 23, 2021 at TAKE MY HAND AT-HOME CARE

woman in yellow and white floral button up shirt holding yellow bananaWith the holiday season is in full swing, you might be visiting older loved ones for food, fun, and frivolity. 

Perhaps it’s the first time you’ve seen your loved ones in a while, and they’ve changed as they’ve grown older. You will want to be on the lookout for ways to help or for signs that your older loved ones might need additional assistance in their day-to-day lives. 

Here are some things to look for: 

Physical ability 

It’s no surprise that as we age, our ability to do things for ourselves diminishes. Walking without assistance, for example, can become a difficult or even dangerous task. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year, one in four older adults will experience a fall, making falls the leading cause of injuries and death from injury among the elderly. 

What to look for: Watch your loved ones walk across the room. Are they shuffling or dragging their feet? Are their feet spread far apart to aid balance? Does it take a long time? Are they steady walking and sitting down? According to the AARP, these can be signs that a loved one might need assistance walking. 

What you can do: Take steps to prepare your loved one’s home for aging in place, including removing barriers and simplifying the furniture arrangements. Call an at-home care provider such as Take My Hand for assistance with daily activities and mobility. 

Mental health 

Like physical decline, cognitive lapses can occur with regularity among older adults. According to the CDC, subjective cognitive decline affects roughly one in nine people. As you gather with your loved ones this holiday season, there are things you can do to gauge whether dementia, Alzheimer’s or a similar brain decline might be at play. 

What to look for: Increasing forgetfulness, difficulty understanding directions and increases in impulsivity can be signs of cognitive decline in an older loved one

Read more: How to spot brain decline among the elderly 

What you can do: Reach out to Dementia Support Northwest in Bellingham for a memory screening. The organization has a mobile unit that can travel anywhere in Whatcom County. Contact Take My Hand or another at-home care provider for assistance. Caregivers can devote as little or as much time as is needed to ensure the proper amount of attention and support for loved ones in Bellingham, Lynden, Ferndale and elsewhere in the county. 

If you want an expert to evaluate whether your loved one needs extra assistance, please reach out to us at Take My Hand At-Home Care for a no-cost and no-obligation evaluation. You can reach us at 360-543-5777 or

We can help in many areas, including medication monitoring and reminders, help with ambulation to prevent falls, light housekeeping, personal hygiene, cooking, grocery shopping and much more

Take My Hand at Home Care

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