As a family caregiver, you may have to look for subtle signs that something just isn’t right for your aging adult.
Frequent Hospitalizations or Urgent Care Visits
If your aging adult is finding herself in the hospital, emergency room, or even urgent care often, there may be some bigger problems going on. Chronic health conditions require consistent care, of course, but she may need more help to keep herself healthy than she currently has. You may need to make changes as her caregiver to the level of help that she has from here on out.
Serious Decline in Health
When you visit your aging adult, pay attention to how she’s doing. If she suddenly is doing much worse than she has been during your most recent visit, there may be a problem. Some illnesses can come on or worsen suddenly, but many of them worsen gradually. If your elderly family member has been downplaying her health, you may not have been able to see signs until now. Talk with her doctor about what could be causing the issue so that you can get to work formulating a plan.
Sudden Weight Loss or Lack of Appetite
It’s not uncommon for anyone, including your aging adult, to not be hungry now and again. But if she’s suddenly having a serious lack of appetite regularly, there may be bigger problems going on. If your aging family member isn’t eating well or often, she may be losing a great deal of weight quite suddenly.
Withdrawal from Normal Activities
Giving up on activities that your aging adult has normally enjoyed can be another sign that something is wrong. If she’s also avoiding interacting with people that she normally spends time with, she may be experiencing depression or physical ailments that are restricting her life. If you’re noticing that your elderly family member isn’t as active as she once was, be sure to ask her what is causing her to withdraw from those activities.
Talk to your aging adult’s doctor about specific red flags that could relate to her individual health conditions. You may not catch every sign every time, but you’ll learn to spot them faster and easier.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring elderly care in Eagle River, AK, call us! The friendly staff at Shine Bright Care are here to answer your questions.
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In reflecting on this journey, my home care career, I cannot help but think of my parents. I assisted alongside my sister, to care for them during their last years. Both mother and father had suffered a stroke, heart attacks, diabetes, dementia, hypertension and many more complications that I cannot even imagine going through.
Life as a caregiver was not easy but it was something that you just had to do, especially for your parents. Both my parents needed full-time 24-7 care, meaning they could not do anything for themselves. Every day my sister would care for them, whether it was assisting them to medical appointments, cooking and cleaning, bathing and showering, or transferring from wheelchair to bed. It was their complete care for all activities of daily living.
I think of my parents often. My father passed in 2012 and my mother recently passed in 2015. I would give anything to have them back. That would be selfish to say, as it would have meant them suffering and not living a full life. I know they are in heaven smiling down.
With the experience of caring for my parents, I was able to secure a job as a direct support professional. I was later offered a job as a case manager and excelled to become a team leader. Gradually I was promoted to being a care coordinator and from then on, I just knew this was meant for me.
This is my calling; this is my life’s purpose. I went on to experience greater things in this field of Human Services. To care and help individuals and families find support and services needed to navigate the system to meet their needs, is such an honor and rewarding experience to be involved in.
I look back, and a decade has passed since I started and it is now 2017. I would love to thank my parents for giving me the opportunity to have the experience of caring for them and go on to do something great with helping others find care and support in the community.
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