6 Physical Changes Indicating the Need for Help at Home

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Adult children should consistently watch for signs their aging parents may be experiencing changes in health. However, many of these signs develop slowly and are subtle enough to be missed during a short visit. If you’re concerned about your loved one’s ability to live independently, stay alert for the following physical changes that could signify a need for assistance, support, and home care. 

1. 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 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. 

2. Unsteady Gait or Shaking

During a recent visit, you may have noticed your parent is no longer as spry as he or she was 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 the home to prevent falls and promote independence. 

Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading senior care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.

3. Difficulty Walking Up Stairs

Arthritis, muscle stiffness, or even a simple fear of falling may make it more difficult for your parent to go up and down stairs, step over ledges, or get into the bathtub with ease. Seniors who have difficulty with stairs may need to arrange for their bedrooms to be on the first floor, and help with personal hygiene routines could prevent falls. 

4. Difficulties Reaching Overhead

Seniors with stiffness and pain in their arms and shoulders may no longer be able to reach high shelves or get dressed easily. This can lead to frustration that causes aging adults to avoid activities such as changing clothes and preparing meals. Fortunately, these challenges can often be alleviated with the assistance of a regular in-home caregiver. 

Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional home care Reston, VA, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated home caregiver.

5. Inactivity or Slowing Down

A senior who suddenly seems to give up and sit around all day may be facing a variety of potential physical and emotional problems. However, regular activity is essential for heart health and mental wellbeing. Additionally, an inactive senior’s home may become a health and safety hazard if housekeeping chores are neglected. 

6. New Health Diagnosis

A recent illness or surgery often requires aftercare that may not be possible for your loved one to maintain independently. For example, new medications could cause side effects that alter normal activities, or he or she may have difficulty with personal hygiene due to pain and discomfort. Making sure your loved one has the appropriate assistance following a change in health can promote better healing and preserve his or her independence. 

The physical changes that accompany aging can make it challenging for seniors to live at home without assistance. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional elder care Reston seniors can trust and rely on. Call Assisting Hands Home Care at 703-556-8983 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.