Aging Parent Care-Physical Symptoms and Emotional/Mental Changes to Look for

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,387
    Mary Alexander with Home Instead Senior Care discusses how to recognize the signs of aging and need for care for your parents.

    Aging Parent Care.

    Physical Symptoms and Emotional and Mental Changes to Look for.

    Mary Alexander: Hi, I am Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care and today I'll be discussing how to recognize the signs of aging and need for care for your parents. Now I want to talk about the physical and emotional changes to look for.

    Do your parents seem tired all the time? When you call, are you waking them from a nap? Persistent fatigue and loss of energy are just two of the physical signs that your parents might be struggling and may need assistance. Recognizing the physical and emotional signs of aging doesn't take a lot of time and some symptoms you can even hear over the phone. When you talk with your parents ask how they're feeling and if they're still engaged in their usual social activities. Are they still going to church services or meeting friend for coffee? If you notice they have lost interest in socializing or have stopped participating in hobbies, that could be a signal of depression. It's also possible that there is an underlying physical health issue that's causing them to back away from the things they once enjoyed.

    Sometimes the signal you get from your loved one is very drastic, such as major change in mood or outlook. For instance, do your parents go from happy to crying in seconds or come across more irritable and grumpy than normal? Do not ignore these signs; in fact, keep an eye out to see if they persist over a stretch of days or weeks. You might also check with friends and neighbors to see if they are noticing this behavior changes as well.

    On the more physical side, when you're visiting with your senior loved one, take note, if they have difficulty getting up or are unsteady when standing. See if their gait has changed, or if they're using items to balance themselves as they walk from room to room.

    If you notice difficulty in their mobility, be sure to take a closer look in the bathroom at the towel bars, window sills and shower curtains. Check to see if any of them are loose and pulling away from the wall or in the case of the shower curtain is it torn.

    If your senior is having trouble getting off the toilet, they could have developed a several step process of using one or more of these items to get up. That's a definite sign that help is needed.

    Other physical symptoms of underlying health issues are a loss of appetite and weight loss. Are you hearing the words, I'm not hungry more often? Check over the grocery list, is there more junk food or items that are easy to prepare that are lacking in nutritional value. In either case your parents could be putting themselves at risk of lacking proper nutrition that could lead to more serious health issues.

    These physical and emotional signs are all tough issues to face, but ignoring any of them could prove more dangerous and costly to your loved one. Unfortunately they are not the only signs of aging.

    In the next video, we'll take a look at loss of attention signals and environmental clues. Let's check those out.

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