Visiting Older Parents for the Holidays – A Practical Guide

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Adult children visiting older parents during the holidays may be upset or stressed by what they notice. But don’t be tempted to jump in and try to solve every issue at once. Here’s a practical guide to enjoying the holidays while still offering help.

According to, If they are visiting older parents and relatives several time zones away for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other holiday, adult children often return from holiday celebrations even more tense and overwhelmed than when they left. Mom may seem more unsteady on her feet. Dad may seem to be forgetting a lot more. The household may seem more disorganized than you remembered, and less clean. And should Uncle Jack still be driving at night…or at all?

Aging Solutions, a Bay Area geriatric care management company, offers these guidelines for adult children who may be worrying about their aging parents, based on more than 20 years of hands-on help to families and seniors.

First, resist the instinct to jump in with both feet immediately to solve every problem you may think your parents are having.

“Holidays are rarely the time for taking drastic action, and anyway, the physical or mental decline of a parent is a touchy subject,” says our CEO, Terri Abelar. “You may be told, loudly, that it’s none of your business how they’re doing. That kind of conflict can ruin the holiday for everyone in the house.”