As our loved one’s age, they may start showing symptoms that require attention. Many physical and mental changes happen in the aging process. Depending if the symptoms are gradual and they can still do basic daily activities, the attention needed varies.
You and your family should monitor your elderly family to determine when they may start to need extra care. Pay attention to these seven symptoms in your elderly family members.
1. Change in Energy Levels
Changes in energy levels with age may be challenging to detect at first. Try making some observations daily about your loved ones. It is common for them to slow down, but if it seems abrupt compared to the past, consider keeping an eye out.
If there are any signs or physical injuries, like burns, it may result from general weakness, forgetfulness, or misuse of medications. If they seem tired all the time or even if they fall asleep at inappropriate times, it could be time to see a doctor.
2. Eating Habits and Nutrition Changes
Be on the lookout for changing eating habits that lead to weight loss, appetite loss, or missed meals. If they are struggling with providing proper nutrition for themselves, it could be a sign they need more careful attention.
You can help by meal prepping food for them and monitoring their nutrition intake. Good nutrition is essential no matter what age. For older adults, it can help prevent diseases like osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.
Eating can become more difficult as you age since there are a lot of changing factors. It could be problems with swallowing or chewing, change in sense of smell and taste, money for food, medicines that take away appetite and more.
3. Memory Issues
Memory issues are bound to happen with everyone. When it starts affecting your everyday life, this is when it becomes a problem. When it looks like your loved one has piles of unopened mail, unfilled prescriptions and missing appointments, it is a good idea to pay more attention to them.
Cognitive issues can lead to poor judgment in older adults, which is why proper guidance is essential. It could lead to even more severe illnesses such as dementia. Warning signs can be difficult to spot and should not be self-diagnosed. Here are some common warning signs of dementia to be on the lookout for:
- Difficulty thinking or saying the right words
- Vague in everyday conversation
- Short-term memory loss
- Cannot follow a story
- Increase emotional unpredictability
4. Behavior and Personality Changes
Sudden changes in your loved one’s personality or typical behaviors could signify a health issue. They may need extra attention if you notice things like being unusually loud, quiet, paranoid, aggravated or making calls at uncommon hours.
They may stop participating in activities they once loved while changing relationship patterns to the point that friends and neighbors are getting concerned. Skipping family gatherings and withdrawing from usual activities may show your loved one is experiencing depression or chronic stress.
Your loved one needs to maintain healthy interactions for their emotional and mental well-being. They may need companionship or to see a doctor about the changes in their personality.
5. Lack of Hygiene
Neglecting personal hygiene such as body order, oral health, nails, skin, and clothing can be another warning sign to pay closer attention to your elders. Take notice of their overall appearance and look out for significant changes in hygiene.
When they fail to bathe or take care of themselves, it can put them at risk for infections or illnesses. Some of the easier signs to spot are if they are brushing their hair or teeth or washing clothing may indicate they need assistance with their grooming and hygiene needs.
According to this dentist in Ballantyne, their dental hygiene is especially important as their dental health deteriorates as they grow older.
6. Mishandling Finances
When your loved one starts doing things such as not paying bills, paying multiple times, or losing and hiding money, they may need more care and assistance. Things like making unusual purchases from more magazines, entering large contests, and engaging in TV advertisements is a sign to help them manage their money.
When a family member is not handling money correctly, they can be private about it. They can be more susceptible to scams and need help deciphering what a real and necessary purchase is. Pay attention to the purchases that your loved ones make and help them figure out a money management plan.
7. Diagnosed Medical Conditions
One of the most obvious reasons to pay more attention to your loved ones is when they get diagnosed with a medical condition. Depending on the severity of the diagnosed condition, they may need care from doctors and many hospital visits.
Every elder has different needs when aging. Some may need occasional assistance in the household, while others require extensive help due to their conditions.
Be Sure to Pay Attention to These Symptoms
As your loved ones age, daily life activities can become more complex. Showing up and being there for your elders allows them to get the help and care they need.
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