The Holidays and Facing the Need of More Help for Mom

By Eileen Doherty, MS ~

Denver, CO  –  Families gathering for the holidays is a joyous occasion.  Time spent in reminiscing about past holidays, catching up on one another’s lives, and just enjoying a feeling of comfort and satisfaction are the things we look forward to when coming home for the holidays.

But sometimes, families come home to visit a parent who may not be doing so well.  Parents often tend to be less open about their personal situation, their health, or how they are managing, especially when there is significant distance involved and infrequent visits.  Adult children sometimes come home to find that “mom” isn’t doing so well, or that somehow things are just “not right”.

 Distinguishing between help to clean the house, needing rides to the doctor or grocery store, help to prepare meals, and taking medications on time and in the right dosages are all problems often identified by families on visits home for the holidays. “Mom” may also be facing problems with managing finances, not having anyone to help with legal decision making, or deciding on appropriate treatments for health care. 

 In today’s world, adult children often retreat to the internet to look for support, information, and help.  The maze of services, the level of services, and the type of services that are needed can be overwhelming. The internet is a great tool to help in searching for the right service and the right solution.  There are many agencies available to help, but most specialize in one area such as housing, home care, or legal services. 

The Colorado Gerontological Society’s more comprehensive website now features information on tips and ideas that can help on the long journey of caregiving for families.  The website also features an interactive housing and home care guide in which families can seek assistance by services, payment, costs, and zip code.  Soon to come will be information on vacancies, amenities, and other helpful information whether looking to keep a loved one at home or facing a move to increase the amount of help that may be needed.

In addition to the interactive resources at, hard copies of the Colorado Senior Resource Guidebook are available at local libraries and senior events. Individual copies can be ordered online for $10 to cover postage and handling or a check can be mailed to CGS, 1129 Pennsylvania St, Denver CO  80203. 

Eileen Doherty

Eileen Doherty

Eileen Doherty, MS is the Executive Director of the Colorado Gerontological Society.  Her areas of expertise include management and administration of nonprofit organizations, education and training on issues related to older adults, advocacy and policy development on senior issues, and clinical practice in working with seniors and families to manage their lives in the later years. She has been the Director of the Society since 1982.  She teaches Nonprofit Management for Fort Hays State University.  Her phone number is 303-333-3482 or

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