You can’t always be there. But we can.
Watching our parents get older can be difficult. Their health is often not as good as it was in their younger days, making them more susceptible to chronic health problems. In fact, many older adults have more than one chronic condition they are trying to manage.
If you are concerned over the health of your elder parent, there are several warning signs that your loved one may have a health problem that has not been diagnosed yet. An elder care provider can care for your loved one and watch for any changes in their mental or physical health if you or other family members are unable to do so.
Signs That The Elder has a Health Issue
Lack of personal care. Have you noticed that your loved one seems to be keeping up on their appearance less these days? It could be a sign that they are unable to care for themselves due to depression, dementia, or another health condition. Also, pay close attention to how well they are keeping up on their housework. If they seem to be spending less time on cleaning their home and doing yardwork, could be an indication that they have a serious health problem.
Increased memory loss. A little memory loss is perfectly normal with age, but there is a fine line between normal and alarming memory loss. For example, it is normal to misplace car keys, but it is not normal to struggle with words when trying to talk.
Problems in their home. Is your loved one having problems navigating through their own home? Or do they seem to fall and stumble into things more than they used to? If your loved one lives by themselves, it is also important that they are able to read medication bottles also.
Dangerous behind the wheel. If the elder has been coming home with more traffic tickets, dents on their vehicle, or other alarming driving problems, it is time to talk to them about their driving. They may also be a hazard on the road if they are unable to turn their head in order to look in their mirrors or check their blind spot.
Unexpectedly losing weight. If your loved one is losing weight out of nowhere, it could be a sign that they are malnourished. If they live alone, they may not bother to cook a healthy meal or eat at all. A side effect of some medications could also be a loss of appetite. Talk to their doctor if you are concerned over their weight.