The holiday season may be one of the few times local families get together and realize their elderly loved ones are in deep trouble and need immediate help. Adult children who don’t live nearby often come home to holiday heartbreak with deteriorating relatives they aren’t prepared to handle.

That’s why Senior Helpers, one of the largest in-home senior care companies with caregivers Atlanta, advises families with the “10 Holiday Warning Signs Seniors Need Help.”

• Poor eating habits resulting in weight loss, no appetite, or missed meals.
• Neglected hygiene – wearing dirty clothes, body odor, neglected nails and teeth.
• Neglected home – it’s not as clean or sanitary as you remember growing up.
• Inappropriate behavior – acting loud, quiet, paranoid, or making phone calls at all hours.
• Changed relationship patterns that friends or neighbors have noticed.
• Burns or injuries resulting from weakness, forgetfulness, or misuse of alcohol or medications.
• Decreased participation in activities such as attending the senior center, book club, or church.
• Scorched pots and pans showing forgetfulness for dinner cooking on the stove.
• Unopened mail, newspaper piles, missed appointments.
• Mishandled finances such as losing money, paying bills twice, or hiding money.

“When family members get together, it’s great to finally recognize and see firsthand that their elderly loved ones may have a problem,” says Peter Ross, CEO of Senior Helpers. “But conflict often surfaces when family members have to agree on a solution, especially when the senior has dementia or Alzheimer’s and family members don’t know how to handle it. That’s why Senior Helpers offers a Holiday Family Meeting Guide to discuss the major sticking points. As part of that plan, we strongly encourage the family to hire a trained caregiver to get elderly loved ones the proper care.”

To learn more about how to care for your senior loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s through the Senior Gems program, visit http://www.seniorhelpers.com.

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