This article originally appeared on and is reprinted here with permission.


The holidays bring scattered families together — giving adult children the perfect opportunity to closely inspect how aging parents are managing.


It’s no coincidence that calls to assisted living communities and other housing alternatives spike just after the holidays. That’s when relatives pick up worrisome clues of trouble or see crises unfolding before their eyes.


So while you’re spreading cheer this season, be a bit of a double agent, also sniffing out the following eight potential signs of trouble. You’re not being nosy; you’re being proactive and smart.


  1. Give a big hug.

Look for:

  • Obvious weight loss.
  • Increased frailty.
  • Obvious weight gain.
  • Strange body odor.


  1. Riffle through the mail.

Look for:

  • Unopened personal mail.
  • Unopened bills.
  • Letters from banks, creditors, or insurers.
  • Thank-you messages from charities.


  1. Take a drive — with Mom or Dad behind the wheel.

Look for:

  • Nicks or dents as you enter and exit the car.
  • Whether your loved one fastens his or her seatbelt.
  • Signs of tension, preoccupation, or being easily distracted.
  • Signs of impaired driving.
  • Dashboard warning lights.


  1. Inspect the kitchen — fridge to counter to cupboards.

Look for:

  • Perishables past their expiration dates.
  • Multiples of the same item.
  • Appliances that are broken and haven’t been repaired.
  • Signs of past fire.
  • Increased takeout or simpler cooking.


  1. Look around the living areas.

Look for:

  • Piles of clutter.
  • Cobwebs, signs of spills that haven’t been picked up, or other signs of housekeeping that’s more lax than it once was.
  • Clutter and grime in the bathroom.
  • Signs that your loved one has cut back on activities and interests.


  1. Notice how the other living things are faring.

Look for:

  • Plants that are dying, dead, or just gone.
  • Animals that don’t seem well tended.


  1. Walk around the grounds.

Look for:

  • Signs of home maintenance problems.
  • Newspapers in the bushes.
  • Mail piled up in the mailbox.


  1. Ask eyewitnesses: Talk to those in your loved one’s circle.

Look for:

  • Stories that reflect your loved one doesn’t get out much.
  • Stories that reflect that your loved one has complained about health or needs extra assistance getting basic chores done.
  • Hints of concern in their voices.


Get more details and guidance on these clues by visiting the original article on here:

And contact Wesley Manor Retirement Community for our tips and insights as well.