The holidays are a magical time of year often spent surrounded by close family and friends. It’s an opportunity for us to gather from near and far and enjoy the company of loved ones we might only see once a year. This provides a perfect opportunity to catch up on what’s going on in each other’s lives and gauge the emotional and physical health of our loved ones.

Spending time with family is essential for our mental wellbeing, and this year has taken a considerable toll on most individuals, given the current state of the pandemic. The CDC mentions that more than one-third of adults aged 45 and older feel lonely. Isolation can lead to depression and stress, which can trigger an array of problems in the body including weight loss, weight gain, and insomnia, to name a few.

If you are able to gather with your family this holiday season or technology allows you to stay in touch with loved ones, keep an eye out for warning signs that there could be an issue.


Look for Changes in Appearance

The most obvious signs that something is wrong are changes in appearance. Some things to look for include noticeable changes such as weight loss or gain, visible burns or bruises and poor hygiene. All of these signs could point to a decline in mental or physical health.

Watch for Limited Mobility

If you notice a loved one struggling to get around or maybe limiting the use of their hands or legs, this could be an indicator of an injury or an underlying health concern.

Listen for Signs of Distress

In conversation, listen closely for clues that something could be wrong. Pay attention to things like forgetfulness or language that hints at a poor mental state. This could also look like a withdraw from normal activities or changes in personality.


Thankfully, technology allows us so many great options to stay in touch if gathering for the holidays is not an option. The more time we spend with loved ones, the easier it is to spot issues. Stay in touch and ask questions to stay up to date with your friends and family and speak up if you have any reason for concern about family members’ health.