When do you start discussing having more care for mom and dad? Oftentimes, people wait too long. In this segment, Daphne Davis of Pinnacle Senior Placements offers the broad picture health analogy of a three-legged stool: hydration, medication, and nutrition, which balance fine so long as all three are done well. Daphne gives us some warning signs that it may be time to have that dreaded conversation with a senior loved one that they could benefit from some assistance at home.

Daphne says, “Are you finding a medication on the floor that’s underneath the dining room table, because it just slipped out of their hand when they walked from the kitchen to the dining room? Think of that big broad picture. Let’s say mom and dad are living in the home, and you help with supplementing some grocery shopping, and you’re seeing the same foods around, or even the box of saltine crackers that they asked for isn’t opened yet. Or you bring over a meal or two a week, and there’s very little taken out of it. You’ll say, mom, you haven’t eaten, it’s your favorite dish, and she’ll, she’ll say, ‘well, I just wasn’t hungry.’ That’s a sign. Everyone needs calories to make their body work. If it’s not fueled, it won’t work. Your body is a machine and it needs high-octane fuel. You can still have your ice cream, but you gotta get some protein.

“Let’s say that they’ve lived in the same house for 60 years, and the furniture has been exactly the same way for 60 years. All of a sudden you’re seeing them touching the back of the furniture as they walk, or they’re touching the wall, or they’re using their next hand, that they’re taking a step with, to reach for the chair that’s in front of them. Furniture walking. It’s not a terrible thing to do because your loved one has figured out, how do I keep myself safe? But there’s something behind that ,in terms of maybe a balance issue, maybe lightheadedness, weakness in their muscles, something’s going on. That’s a sign.”