The tradition of family returning home for the holidays provides an opportunity for adult children to observe changes that may be impacting the wellness of aging parents or relatives. 

Are you noticing cognitive or mobility changes that may require alterations in living situations? Would aging parents benefit from home modifications to ensure safety, such as bathroom grab bars? Is it time to consider additional help with cleaning or with taking medication?

The holidays aren’t only a time for family reunions but a time when everyone should talk openly about what they want as they age. Baby boomers are rewriting history. This generation broke ground on issues of equality, ended the threat of polio and gave us the internet. As this generation ages, it also is redefining health care and where it is delivered: at home.

This generation is fueling the growth of the home-care industry, and many are realizing that the trend toward health care at home makes a lot of sense. First, providing these services costs about half as much as a stay at a nursing home. In addition, home care has been shown to reduce hospital readmissions by as much as 25 percent.

It is appropriate that Thanksgiving and National Home Care and Hospice Month both fall in November. As your family gathers to celebrate the holidays, take time to not only enjoy each other, but also make sure older family members are able to look forward to many years of happiness ahead of them.

Lesley Reyes

Manheim Township