Adult children should consistently watch for signs that their aging parent may be experiencing changes in their health. However, many of these signs develop slowly and are subtle enough to be missed during a short visit. If you are concerned about your loved one’s ability to live independently, then stay alert for the following six physical changes that could signify a need for assistance, support and home care in Caledon.
- Weight Loss or Gain – Weight changes can be a normal side effect of aging; however, any sudden weight gain or loss may have a physical or emotional cause. In some instances, a change in your loved one’s weight may be due to problems eating comfortably due to dental pain or digestive distress. Overeating or not eating enough could also be due to isolation or depression. Identifying the cause of the weight change is essential for determining the right kind of help to give your parent.
- Unsteady Gait or Shaking – During a recent visit, you may have noticed that your parent is no longer as spry as they were in the past. Any signs of unsteadiness or shaking should be assessed for a physical cause. Then, your loved one may need additional assistance modifying their home to prevent falls and promote independence.
- Difficulty Walking Up Stairs – Arthritis, muscle stiffness and even a simple fear of falling may make it more difficult for your parent to go up stairs and step over ledges such as in the bathtub. Seniors who struggle with stairs may need to arrange for their bedroom to be on the first floor, and help with personal hygiene routines could prevent falls.
- Struggles Reaching Overhead – Senior adults with stiffness and pain in their arms and shoulders may no longer be able to reach high shelves or get dressed as easily. This can lead to frustration and the avoidance of activities such as changing clothes and preparing meals. Fortunately, these challenges can often be alleviated with the assistance of a regular in-home caregiver.
- Inactivity or Slowing Down – A parent who suddenly seems to give up and sit around all day may be dealing with a variety of potential physical and emotional problems. However, regular activity is essential for heart health and mental well-being. Additionally, an inactive senior’s home may become a health and safety hazard if chores are allowed to pile up.
- New Health Diagnosis – A recent illness or surgery often requires after-care that may not be possible for your loved one to maintain on their own. For example, new medications could cause side effects that alter their normal activities, or he or she may struggle with personal hygiene due to pain and discomfort. Making sure that your loved one has the appropriate assistance following a change in their health can promote better healing and preserve their independence.
Whether you recently saw your aging loved ones for Easter or have an upcoming Mother’s Day celebration planned, keep the above changes in mind so you can check in on your parents and relatives during visits. If you believe your loved one would benefit from an in-home caregiver, request a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with Home Care Assistance of Caledon. We provide live-in and hourly care Caledon families trust, and are available 24/7. Call 905-951-8885 today.