22 King Street South Suite 300 Waterloo, ON N2J 1N8, Canada

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Comfort Keepers provides award-winning in-home care for seniors and other adults in need of assistance with daily activities. Our highly trained and dedicated caregivers can help your loved one stay in their home for as long as safely possible—a dream come true for many elders.

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Visiting Family Elders; Signs to Watch Out For

Senior Health and Wellbeing  |  March 21, 2023

Visiting our elderly family members is a loving ritual many of us engage in. We go bearing gifts and meals, wholeheartedly looking forward to spending quality time with them. However, often times there may be challenges that impact our loved ones – challenges we are not aware of. Illness, injury, and aging do take their toll, and the effects can be cumulative. As such, we need to will ourselves to be proactive, and to watch out for any signs that indicate our loved ones need more help than they can or will admit to. Note that, at Comfort Keepers, we approach senior care in a holistic manner. So, remember to mind the 3 P’s; Person, Property, and Place. Without further delay, let us go through a brief description of some signs to actively watch out for when visiting our elderly family members.



When we are visiting our elderly loved one, we can use the opportunity to capitalize on our senses as a whole. Visual observation, smell, and sound can tell us a lot about what is happening beyond initial appearances.

Are there odours emanating from our loved one? If so, could it be a laundering concern, hygiene issues, or something caused by medication? Do they appear to have lost or gained weight? Are there any unusual cuts, sores, bruises, or other physical signs which may warrant concern? Do they sound out-of-breath while resting? Do symptoms such as wheezing or coughing exist? When it comes to health, the signs may be subtle, and so to a passive visitor these may be easy to miss.

Observation aside, also consider engaging them with meaningful conversation. Ask them specifics about their daily and weekly routine. Bring up childhood memories. Discuss events from the past. Test their resolve on sensitive matters.

In addition to that, we highly recommend that these visits include a ritual of gaming. This can include a card game, board game, puzzles, and much more.

In the end, the more we engage, the more interactive the experience. More to the point, the more we probe, the more we learn.

an old car


Our property holds a lot of value for us. So, when things begin to take a turn for the worst, it may begin to show in the contents we have in and around the home.

Start by having a glance at the car. Does it have any visible signs of damage? Any rust spots that appear more pronounced than the last time? Is there dust and junk visible on the interior? Does the car appear to have been washed recently? Are the tire treads at safe levels? Is the licence plate sticker still valid?

Then have a look around the house. Prized possessions and collections can be checked first because these are cared for meticulously. Any changes to that can be a cause for concern. More so, even the little things matter. Check kitchen knives for sharpness. Check tooth brush heads for wear and tear. Glance at their wardrobes to observe whether clothing have stains or holes or just look overly-used.

Remember, when you take a walk through, take mental notes to use as a frame of reference during future visits.



Another important point is the place, or environment in which they live. When we purchase our home, we invest time, effort, and money into it. We forge it into our sanctuary, one which we share happily with our friends and family. Therefore, it becomes an emotional and sentimental investment too. As such, under usual circumstances, our homes are kept in great condition.

Outdoors, we water our lawns and keep them trimmed during warmer seasons. Moreover, we shovel and salt entranceways during the colder seasons. Indoors, we change light bulbs regularly. We also fix leaking taps before they leave stains. Regularly, we dust and clean surfaces and floors. We constantly clean and stock refrigerators and pantries. Doors and windows are maintained in operational condition with locks intact. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are present and functional.

Admittedly, the actual list of signs is as exhaustive as it is important – so there is so much more to watch out for. In the end, if any deviation from such tasks is observed, it signals to us that help may be needed sooner rather than later.

At Comfort Keepers, we observe many well-meaning family members passively visiting their elderly loved ones. Although admirable, we strongly believe that it is much more important that when we are visiting our loved ones we actively invest our time and efforts. By keeping these things in mind, we become better able to detect changes in their memory, reasoning, emotional state, and physical health. More importantly, we may also find ourselves better placed to do something about it. When we actively watch out for signs during visits to our elderly loved ones, we are making a purposeful investment in promoting their happiness, health, and safety.

Comfort Keepers Helps

Comfort Keepers senior care of Hamilton, Kitchener, and Waterloo has been helping seniors lead healthy, active, and enjoyable lifestyles for over two decades in North America. We understand the challenges of the golden years, we know what our seniors are capable of achieving, and we offer companionship and care that helps empower seniors to sustain their autonomy, maintain good health, and enjoy their time in retirement.

Our trained caregivers can make your day-to-day life easier and help you make the most of your time, rendering it a relaxing and enjoyable experience. At Comfort Keepers Kitchener and Waterloo senior care, we can help you achieve your tasks so that you can focus on the things that matter. We help our clients find joy by elevating the human spirit.
Call us today for more information on how we can serve your needs.

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