Magazine article USA TODAY

Why Grandpa Seems out of It

Magazine article USA TODAY

Why Grandpa Seems out of It

Article excerpt

The holiday season may be one of the few times families get together and realize their elderly loved ones are in deep trouble and need immediate help. Adult children who may not live nearby often are shocked to come home to a holiday heartbreak with deteriorating relatives they were not prepared to handle. So, this season, the family might gather around the kitchen table, not only for a huge meal, but for talk--a big talk--that maps out a plan to care for ailing, elderly relatives.

"This Christmas and New Year's, thousands of adult children will come home to a sight they never expected to find: elderly relatives who are lethargic and forgetful, a messy house, and bills piling up. The joy of the season is clouded with the realization that your relatives are suffering and can't make it alone" says Peter Ross, CEO of Senior Helpers, Holly Springs, N.C. "This is often the best time for family members to hash out care solutions everyone agrees on."

The Council on Aging offers 10 warning signs that your older family member needs help:

* Poor eating habits resulting n a decrease in weight, no appetite, or missed meals.

* Neglected hygiene--wearing dirty clothes, body odor, neglected nails and teeth. …

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