Awareness and education are two of the most important tools that you can use as a family caregiver to ensure that you are giving your elderly parent the highest quality care possible and helping them to live the quality of life that they deserve. By being aware of the risks that they might face and recognizing them, you can make meaningful changes to your care routine to address those risks and protect your parent from the potential consequences of them.
September 18 through 22 is Malnutrition Awareness Week.
This is the ideal time for you to learn more about malnutrition and how it can impact your parent so that you are able to make changes that will help to prevent malnutrition or help your parent to recover from it. An important part of this is being able to recognize the signs of a senior who is dealing with malnutrition.
Some of the potential signs and symptoms of a senior suffering from malnutrition include:
- Weight loss. Possibly the most obvious of signs that your senior is not getting the nutrition that they need is weight loss. Pay attention to how their body feels when you hug them or how their clothing fits. If they have lost a distinct amount of weight, particularly if they didn’t need to lose weight to begin with, they may be malnourished. It is important to note, however, that not all people who are malnourished are very thin and frail, and even a person who is overweight can be malnourished.
- Changes in their eating patterns. Make the time to eat with your parent as often as possible. Pay attention to what, how, and how much they are eating. If they are not eating healthy elements of their meals or piling on salt, they might be struggling with issues that could lead to malnutrition, or could already be malnourished.
- Changes in food access. Many senior struggle with malnourishment because their senses change and they can no longer smell or taste their food properly. This can lead to them making poor choices about what foods to eat, going for foods that are high in salt and fat because they have stronger flavor. Check their kitchen to see what foods that they have and what they are and are not eating.
- Increased injuries. If your senior is showing more signs of injury, such as bruising and scrapes, or if they have been getting sick more frequently and not recovering well, it may be because they are not getting adequate nutrition.
If you have been looking for a way to improve your elderly parent’s quality of life and help them to maintain a more fulfilling, healthier, and safer lifestyle as they age in place, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. An in-home senior care services provider can be in the home with your parent on a fully customized schedule that ensures your parent will have the type of care, support, encouragement, and assistance that they need to help them handle their personal challenges and limitations in the way that is right for them. Highly personalized services allow your parent to stay as independent as possible while also ensuring that they are safe, healthy, and comfortable throughout their later years. As a family caregiver this can give you confidence that your family member is in good hands both when you are able to be with them and when you are not.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Glenview, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.