Mary Alexander: Hi! I'm Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care and today I'm discussing how to care for the entire senior. Now I'm going to talk about the physical and emotional signs of aging. Does your parent seem tired all the time? When you call, are you waking him or from a nap? Persistent fatigue and loss of energy are just two of the physical signs that your parent might be struggling and maybe in need of extra attention. 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 engaging in their usual social activities. Are they still going to church services or meeting friends for coffee or getting to the club? If you notice they have lost interest in socializing or have stopped participating in hobbies that could be a sign 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 a major change in mood or outlook. For instance, does your parent go from happy to crying in seconds or coming 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 these behavior changes as well.
On the more physical side, when visiting with your senior loved one, take note if he or she has difficulty getting up or is unsteady when standing. See if their gate 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 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 easier to prepare but are lacking in nutritional value. In either case, your parents could be putting themselves at risk of lacking proper nutrition that could lead to other more serious health issues.
For sure, 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.