Early warning signs an elderly adult may be declining

Throughout much of the 20th century, chirping canaries were used in the coal mining industry as early warning systems for poisonous gases like carbon monoxide. Since carbon monoxide is clear and odorless, miners needed a way to detect it before it became lethal. Canaries, sensitive to the gas, would collapse when exposed, alerting miners
to evacuate the mine.

It is well known that a senior’s health and quality of life often decline following an adverse event (fall,
hospitalization, etc.). These events decrease their likelihood of maintaining their independence or mobility, in some cases permanently.

Here are a few early warning signs to watch for:

  • New mobility device or walking less
  • More difficulty walking or transferring
  • Clutter in room or countertops
  • Getting up later/ dressing later
  • Participating in fewer activities
  • Requesting help more often
  • New diagnosis/medications
  • Recent fall or hospital/ER visit
  • Increased fatigue and/or pain
  • Weight loss or loose clothes

It’s crucial that we identify conspicuous changes in order to be proactive.

Check out our weekly podcast hosted by Brian Harmon, PT, MBA and Jo Alch, RN with Joy Care Management.


A show on all things Senior Care with important topics and guests to help improve the health and quality of life of seniors.

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Nexus Home Healthcare developed a proactive clinical approach proven to:

  • Reduce hospitalizations

  • Improve senior health and quality of life

  • Reduce medical costs to families and insurance

Contact us to inquire about our results and/or how our approach helps meet the needs of your patients and families.

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