Julie Hall

The Estate Lady

Julie Hall is an expert in dealing with personal property from the Depression era. Estate dissolution and helping grieving families make appropriate decisions during the estate settlement process are her specialties. She is a certified personal property appraiser, an estate sales professional, a residential content removal specialist, and a broker of fine items. As owner of The Estate Lady®, LLC, she brings 18 years of experience to families facing the overwhelming task of dissolving the family home.

What to Notice About Your Parents’ Aging

Facing the future

By Juile Hall

Many of us will gather with close family at Christmas and/or New Year’s. You may want to observe your parents, or other close relatives, and note any new signs of the aging process.

Some of these signs, if occurring infrequently, are no cause for panic; however, they could mean that your parents need to have someone check on them daily or consider assisted living.

  • Declining mobility
  • Vision problems
  • Loss of interest in favorite pastimes
  • Irritability
  • Hearing loss
  • Confusion
  • Repetition
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Fatigue
  • Unopened mail
  • Changes in the home environment
  • Unusual spending and/or hoarding (collecting)
  • Preoccupation with finances
  • Change in appetite or not eating well
  • Staying alone, isolation
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Bruising from stumbles or falls

What should you do if you notice any of these signs of aging in your parents? You shouldn’t overreact or force the issue to discussion. You should not ignore the signs either. Just pay attention.

  1. Begin keeping a diary or log of what you notice. By paying attention and keeping a record, you will be able to objectively determine if these behaviors are happening infrequently or if they are getting worse, necessitating an intervention.
  2. Begin to think about the future. No one likes to face the inevitable facts of decline and death of our parents. Those who allow themselves to think proactively are much better prepared for the day when all they have left is their parents’ empty house. Adult children who have been in denial often become unglued when the end finally arrives.

With family gathered, this may be a good opportunity to observe and discuss the facts together as siblings. Go for a walk or out for coffee. A little investment of time when all are together may ease the challenges you’ll face later.

Whatever you observe, continue to love your parents and make great memories together as a family!

By Julie Hall
The Estate Lady Blog

[First posted December 21, 2009, at Julie Hall's Estate Lady Web site.]


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