Close up of upset old woman suffering from migraine stock photo

The holidays are over, the bleak mid-winter is in full swing, and people are back to their routines after gathering from far and wide to visit family in November and December. Over the holidays, many adult children and relatives spent more extended, concentrated time with aging parents. As such, they may have noticed some changes in their loved ones that they didn’t see before.

While some differences may have been striking, others may have been harder to put a finger on. Maybe it was a slight slip in memory, a little more difficulty getting in and out of a chair, less attention to hygiene, or any number of observances that caused adult children to wonder if something was “different” about mom or dad.

While each individual is unique and has his or her own baseline, changes outside the norm for older adults might include personal neglect, mobility issues, memory impairment, chronic health problems, social inactivity, questionable judgment, poor housekeeping, dramatic weight loss, driving incidents, monetary mishaps, and more.

“It’s hard to watch our parents decline, but we can’t afford not to take notice and, if necessary, take action,” said Scott Swanson, president and CEO of The Danish Home of Chicago, a 128-year-old boutique senior community in the historic neighborhood of Norwood Park.

Swanson and others at The Danish Home have put together a four-part guide for adult children and relatives exploring: 1) signs an aging loved one may need help; 2) how to have constructive conversations; 3) where to find reputable resources; and 4) how to find a living situation amenable to both seniors and their families. This free guide requires no provision of personal information.

“Seniors and their children need to know their options and how to begin to explore them,” said Swanson. “Our objective is to give them a starting point, regardless of their ultimate decision.”

Augmenting the online guide is a three-part lecture series The Danish Home is hosting on February 18, February 26, and March 5. This series will examine several factors affecting senior citizens, including changing care needs, the importance of communal dining and sociability, and financial implications of various senior living options. Experts in each of these areas will lead discussion, and guests will enjoy refreshments and an opportunity to ask questions.

The Danish Home also opens its doors anytime to adult children, prospective residents or anyone wishing to tour the community and enjoy a complimentary lunch.

“Our doors are always open to anyone wishing to learn more about senior living options. And you can’t beat our chef’s great cooking for lunch on us!” said Swanson.