Sometimes, the changing patterns of a loved one's behavior are barely noticeable, until, in one moment, they are all you can see. For me, it was during the holidays,
when my grandmotherwandered away from a family gathering and emerged hours later, disheveled and upset.
Do Your Research
If you're out of town, who might check in on Mom or Dad in a storm or after a treatment? Who might be able to bring a nice meal over from time to time? Think about building a network of neighborly resources. Not available? Learn about the local senior center and home care agencies where your parent might enjoy a class, access transportation or find companionship. And consider identifying these resources now before a care crisis erupts, just in case you need more support at a later time.
Form a Team
If you have siblings, air your concerns before discussing them with your parents. The annual holiday dinner, when everyone is gathered together, is not the best time to broach the topic. Instead, come up with a plan to hold a family meeting. Agree to communicate as a unified front and hear each other's perspectives with an open mind; letting conflicts simmer at the surface will only derail your efforts.
Change your thoughts and you change your world.