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The holidays offer the opportunity to make sure aging relatives are doing alright with independent living

The holidays are a great time for family gatherings.

But it's also a time to check in and really see what's going on in the lives our elderly relatives.

Don't just pick up mom or dad and head straight off to the party.

Experts say linger around the house and make sure things aren't piling up or creating a hazard.

Rita Collins, Managing Director of IKOR which provides services to families with aging adults, says elderly parents are reluctant to admit to their kids they need help.

She says the grown up kids need to offer it. Especially when you consider that falls remain one of the leading causes of injury and death to seniors. 

"So, it's very important to go through the house and see how the house is set up," Collins tells CBS 58 News. "Are there rugs that need to be picked up? Are there chords lying around? Is there clutter that could be a potential fall hazard?"

The approach has got to be one of assistance rather than taking over.

"They want to maintain level of independence," says IKOR Registered Nurse Advocate Tina Becherer. "They think if we help them we're going to take away their independence.We want to empower them."

Fraud also should remain top of mind. Collins says adult children should offer help to organize their mail. It will offer a chance to perhaps detect unusual purchases and help detect potential scams.

Collins say you might need to hire someone to assist your parent with bathing or cooking if staying in their own home is a priority.

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