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April 20, 2016

Are You in Good Enough Physical Condition to be Your Aging Veteran’s Caregiver?

Aging Veterans Care in Chicago

Aging Veterans Care in Chicago

Making the decision to become a family caregiver for your aging veteran is not a choice to be taken lightly. This is a tremendous decision that will have an extensive and lasting impact on your life and the lives of your partner, your children, and others who depend on you. It is important that you take the time to evaluate yourself and your condition to determine if you are ready to be a caregiver or if there are changes that you will need to make to ensure that you can fulfill their needs safely and effectively.

Some things to keep in mind when considering if you are in good enough physical condition include:

  • Energy. Caring for a senior throughout their later years takes a considerable amount of energy. This is especially true if you are a member of the sandwich generation caring for your children as well as your senior. You will need enough energy to take care of your parent’s needs, your children’s needs, manage your household, and keep up with your career as well as your marriage and other personal relationships. If you suffer from low energy levels, talk to your doctor about ways that you can boost your energy and stay more active and engaged
  • Flexibility. Depending on the specific needs that your elderly loved one has, there may be an intense physical element. You may need to handle household tasks such as making the bed, putting items on shelves, and cleaning behind furniture. You may also need to offer direct physical care to your aging parent. This can include helping them get in and out of bed or in and out of the bath or shower, transferring assistance, mobility assistance, and dressing assistance. You must be flexible enough to reach and stretch without hurting your joints or losing your strength. Flexibility is also an important part of keeping you safe if you happen to fall
  • Balance. Balance is an important health and safety issue for elderly adults, but it is also important for caregivers. If you need to be able to help your parent walk, transfer from sitting to standing and back again, assist with toileting and bathing, or handle tasks such as supporting them while also reaching for a chair, you will need balance. This will help you to stay secure and reduce the chances of serious injury should your parent lose their balance
  • Strength. Being physically strong is essential if your parent needs hands-on care. If you are not strong enough to support your parent’s weight during activities such as transferring, walking, or bathing, you could lose your grip, causing a serious fall. You may also suffer injuries in your joints and muscles if you attempt to take on tasks beyond your strength, such as moving heavy furniture or putting large containers of groceries on high shelves.


If you feel that you are not in good enough physical condition to help your aging veteran the way that they need, it is important to seek out the help that you need. This could mean getting yourself into better shape, or hiring a home care provider to fill care gaps.

If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home aging veterans care in Chicago, please contact the caring staff at Big Hearts Home Care today!


Matthew Calcagno

Matthew is a graduate of Robert Morris College and is a U.S. Navy veteran.Matthew founded Big Hearts Home Care after over a decade at HP. Spending time volunteering at his grandparent’s senior center inspired him to make a bigger difference in the quality of care seniors receive.His grandfather whom turned 100 in 2015 is still a major inspiration to him in seeing that service is provided with a family focused touch.

It is his passion and commitment to providing quality service that has awarded Big Hearts Home Care as Provider of Choice and Employer of Choice in the Chicagoland area. He believes that being an independently owned and operated company allows him the flexibility to manage the business in a way that better serves the clients.


"Helping people is what I was meant to do; it inspires and motivates me," Calcagno said. "I also get to help veterans - assisting them in the VA pension process and providing care for several in the area. This is what I love to do."

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