Families Should Discuss Care for Older Adults During the Holidays|
KAUFMAN, Texas — For many people, talk around the holidays centers around party plans
and presents, but it also can be a good time to sit down with parents, siblings and other
family members to discuss what level of care older adults need — and how best to
“The holidays might not seem like the perfect time to talk about how a loved one is
feeling and managing on their own, but with many families all gathering together it can be a
great time to really delve into family care opportunities and challenges,” said Dr.
Stephen McMahon, a hospitalist on the medical staff at Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman,
soon to be Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Kaufman. “It is important to approach
the discussion in a non-threatening manner though and really engage everyone in developing
solutions. For those family members who may already be providing care for older adults in
the family, the holidays can be a good time to show support and appreciation.”
The U.S. Administration on Aging of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the
National Council on Aging recommend that when starting the discussion with the family
member, it’s important to keep these tips in mind:
- Ask if your loved one needs help without being patronizing
- Ask your loved one what he or she thinks the solution might be
- Observe the loved one carefully and discuss those observations rather than
- Pay attention when the loved one talks about a problem or concern
Once a family determines that an older adult needs assistance, the family should list the
needs for support and care, determine who can develop the time and attention to support,
create a list of the specific tasks needed, and get specific commitments of who will do what
for the person as well as how that will be accomplished.
“The greatest holiday gift one can give an older adult is offering help in a
non-threatening way and developing solutions that, where possible, enable the adult to keep
his or her independence,” McMahon said.
About Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman
Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman, soon to be Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Kaufman, is
a 91-bed acute-care, full-service medical center serving Kaufman and Henderson counties and
the southern part of Dallas County since 1979. The hospital's services include women and
infant care, wound care, diagnostic imaging, cardiac rehabilitation, and pain management
services. Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman has been recently recognized with the Pathway to
Excellence hospital designation for distinction in nursing by the American Nurses
Credentialing Center and is a Level IV Trauma Center. For more information, please call
1-800-4-Presby, or visit www.texashealth.org/phk.
About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care
delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients
served. THR’s system of 13 hospitals includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington
Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System, and a medical research organization.
THR is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For
more information about Texas Health Resources, visit www.texashealth.org.
Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of