As a family caregiver you know how important it is for your elderly loved one to get all of the nutrition that they need on a regular basis. What they eat makes a tremendous difference in their health and well-being, their ability to function normally, and their quality of life throughout their later years. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for seniors to not get enough to eat or to not eat the right foods and deprive their bodies of the nutrients that they need. It is important that you recognize the signs of this inadequate nutrition as quickly as possible so that you can make meaningful modifications to their care routine to help them eat more, eat better, and give their body what it needs.
Some signs that your aging parent might be suffering from inadequate nutrition include:
• Your loved one complains more frequently of being tired, weak, or fatigued, which might indicate that they are not getting enough calories or that they are deficient in certain nutrients, such as iron.
• Noticing that your aging parent is losing their hair or that their hair appears thin, brittle, dry, or not as healthy as it did. This indicates that they are not getting the vitamins, protein, or healthy fats that they need.
• Seeing changes in their fingernails or toenails, such as brittleness, discoloration, or a spoon shape. This can indicate that they are not getting the nutrients that they need.
• Complaints of splitting in the corners of their mouth or swelling of their tongue, which can indicate that your parent is not getting the iron or B vitamins that they need.
• Noting that your elderly loved one has been suffering from diarrhea more frequently, which could be a cause of malabsorption or a symptom of it.
• Noting that your elderly loved one has been suffering from constipation more frequently, which could be a sign that they are not getting the fiber or healthy fats that they need.
• If your senior has changes in their personality or mood, such as increased irritability, it could be a sign that they are not getting everything that they need and are feeling the effects of fatigue, weakness, and disorientation
If your aging parent’s challenges have increased, your schedule has become busier, or your personal limitations and challenges have come to the point that you no longer feel as though you can fulfill your loved one’s needs in the way that they deserve, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting care for them. A home care provider can step in to fill any care gaps that might exist in your care routine with your loved one, ensuring that they get what they need to remain safe, healthy, happy, and comfortable as they age in place. Not only will this help your elderly parent maintain a higher quality of life and a more fulfilling lifestyle throughout your later years, but it can also give you greater peace of mind knowing that they are getting the care, assistance, support, and encouragement that they need. If you are facing challenges related to handling potentially sensitive or emotionally vulnerable tasks for your senior, a care provider can also be a neutral, respectful party to handle these tasks so that they are met effectively while maintaining your parent’s dignity and comfort.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Park Ridge, IL, please call the caring staff at A-Abiding Care today. Serving North and Northwest Chicago and the surrounding area for over 30 years. Call 847-698-1400.