Easter Seals of Iowa is asking you to use your holiday visits home to check up on the welfare of your elderly parents and relatives. Spokesperson Abby Hausman says changes in society make it tougher to keep up with family. She says a lot of people live far away from their family and don’t realize the care that family members need because they don’t see how age affects their lifestyle. Hausman says they have several things you should consider when visiting elderly relatives. One is their diet.

Hausman says weight gain or weight loss can cause medical problems. She says you should see what kind of food they’re eating, if it’s fresh and be sure there is food in the cupboards. She says a lot of elderly people eat out a lot and that can lead to weight gain and health problems. Hausman says you should also see that they’re taking the right pills.

She says if you should be aware of the medications they take, and check the expiration dates. If you have questions, check with their doctor or pharmacist. Hausman says you need to let parents or relatives know that you’re interested because you care about them.

Hausman says the most important tool for taking care of an elderly parent is listening to them. She says you should ask questions and listen to what they have to say so you can help them. Hausman says by listening it takes away the idea that you’re trying to run their life as they get older. For more information you can surf to: www.easterseals.com. Hausman says the website has a variety of tips to help you help your elderly parents.