Lifestyle

4 Warning Signs to Know About When Caring for Older Parents

It is normal to be concerned about your parents as they age. You want to make sure they are taking care of themselves, remaining active, eating well, and staying healthy. There are some signs that things might not be going as well as they seem, and you need to know what signs to look for to know if something is going wrong.

Not Taking Care of Simple Things

Your parents’ appearance can tell you how well they are doing and if they’re taking care of themselves. Start by checking whether they are completing simple daily routines like brushing their teeth and bathing. Not doing these things could indicate dementia, mobility issues, or depression.

You should also check how well they are taking care of their home. Are all the lights in the house working? Is the hedge trimmed? Are the heating and bills taken care of? These things and others could provide clues to how well they are doing.

Memory Loss

Everyone forgets things and details from time to time. Our memory also gets worse as we age and can be affected by things like medications and underlying conditions. Such memory loss is normal, but it is not normal for someone to have extensive memory loss that makes it harder for them to live their lives.

Some indicators of memory loss include being confused and lost in familiar places, an inability to follow simple instructions, and asking the same question multiple times. Such memory loss could indicate conditions like dementia that should be explored further with a doctor.

Weight Loss

Weight loss is not necessarily a cause for concern, but it can be if your loved one loses a lot of weight in a short period. The most common cause of such weight loss is skipping meals. There are several reasons your loved one may be doing this. 

First, they may have some memory loss that makes it difficult for them to remember to eat and where they have eaten. Second, they could have underlying health issues that are causing weight loss. They may also be unable to go shopping and do not have someone to assist them.

Lastly, they may have swallowing difficulties. Swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) are common in seniors, and it is characterized by coughing or choking when swallowing, food coming up, persistent drooling, and feeling like food is stuck in the chest. 

Treating the underlying conditions causing the difficulties works great, but so does using food and liquid thickeners to make swallowing easier. Products like Simply Thick, whose origin you can learn about at https://www.simplyholahan.com/simplythick, work great for this without altering the taste of food and drinks.

Reluctance to Socialize

Many people become withdrawn as they age, but a complete lack of socialization is a problem. People who don’t socialize are more likely to feel isolated and depressed. Ask your parents about their connections, whether they socialize with their peers, and what interests they still have. Their answers should tell you whether they are socializing.

Numerous issues can develop as we age. It is therefore important to know what to look for to ensure your parents are doing well and are safe, especially if they live alone.

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