Spotting The Warning Signs In Our Elderly Loved Ones This Festive Season

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Christmas time presents an ideal opportunity to check in on the health and well-being of ageing friends and relatives.

As we enter the holiday season, a leading aged care pioneer says Christmas is the ideal opportunity to not only spend time with ageing loved ones, but also check in on their health and wellbeing.

Odyssey Lifestyle Care Communities founder and CEO Phil Usher says there are several key physical and psychological factors that could indicate whether care should be considered for our ageing parents or grandparents.

“Families have a duty of care to observe elderly loved ones and it’s essential that when we come together over Christmas and the holidays, people know what to look out for and what the warning signs are,” says Mr Usher.

“Physical warning signs to be on the lookout for include holding onto furniture to steady themselves, not being able to see properly, needing help to sit or get up, and if they are reluctant to walk upstairs.

“Another sign is whether they have lost weight, as this could indicate they are not maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet.

“It’s a good idea to have a think about last Christmas and compare how your elderly loved one was physically a year ago.”

While psychological warning signs can be more difficult to spot, Mr Usher says observing interactions with other family members will help determine how the person is mentally.

“If your ageing parent or grandparent is actively engaging in conversations, take note of whether they have good short-term recall or if they are repeating the same stories,” says Mr Usher.

“Asking questions such as ‘how did I get here today?’ or ‘what is today?’ or if they can’t remember the names of close relatives – these are warning signs to be aware of.”

Mr Usher says once you’ve made observations and if concerns are identified, it’s time to approach the key decision-makers in the family and discuss possible solutions and options.

“It’s vital that any warning signs aren’t ignored, or it can become dangerous for your elderly loved ones,” says Mr Usher.

“Broaching the subject can be difficult, but it’s about having a gentle conversation and expressing your care as a family towards your ageing parent or grandparent.

“Sometimes the need outweighs the potential awkwardness in opening up discussions like this.”

Mr Usher says Odyssey have a complimentary service, Aged Care Assist, that offers unbiased and tailored advice to the elderly on which options suit their needs and are available to them.

“The process of seeking aged care services and the number of options can be overwhelming and is often referred to as a minefield, so we have a program that guides seniors through the decision-making and transition process,” he says.

“We’re encouraging anybody who is seeking aged care for themselves or someone else to book an appointment with us.

“If you feel the quality and enjoyment of life for yourself or an elderly loved one has become compromised, it might be time to start exploring your options.

“This could be concerns related to health, isolation, security, boredom or loneliness and there are solutions for everyone.

“Aged Care Assist is a complimentary service that is unbiased and obligation-free, and whether the appointment results in a recommendation to move to Odyssey or otherwise, we’re here to help seniors achieve the best outcome for their situation.”

Odyssey is located at Robina on the corner of Scottsdale Drive and The Crestway and currently has another development underway at Chevron Island.

The Odyssey model is built around a resort-style environment where couples stay together, pets are welcome, grandkids can have sleepovers and most importantly, the dignity, independence and well-being of residents are highly respected.

Call (07) 5551 6720 Visit: for more information.