Here’s information to debunk the old tale that eating turkey at Thanksgiving makes you drowsy. There are, however, other changes in behavior that you may want to pay attention to when getting together with parents and other elders during the holidays. These behaviors should prompt us to react with discretion and good judgement.
- Neglect of physical appearance or basic hygiene
- Neglect of medical needs
- Trouble performing routine tasks or chores
- Personality changes
- Unsteadiness, clumsiness or recent history of falling
- No longer responding to sounds or sudden loud noises
- Wearing inappropriate clothing based on the weather
- Having trouble answering simple questions
- Repeating the same information or asking the same questions during short conversations
If you do notice any of the signs listed and believe they are significant changes for your loved one, the time to act is now, even if it’s uncomfortable. A good first step is to talk with other family members and decide together on an appropriate course of action that helps your family members understand you come from a position of love and concern. These changes may be symptoms associated with the natural process of aging. As we age our brains do, too. Even though talking about brain health and memory concerns may seem scary, it doesn’t have to be.
To aid in starting a conversation about brain health and provide resources, the National Alliance for Caregiving and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America created the #TalkBrainHealth Tool Kit. The Tool Kit can be used to gather information, find resources, and talk with family, friends, and health care professionals about the health and well-being of your loved ones. Read the linked article below from the Eldercare Workforce Alliance. It includes tips to consider in determining whether and how to start a conversation, ways to promote brain health, and next steps.