Aging is a fact of life and as your parents are getting on in years, health problems can emerge. But Mom and Dad may not always be forthcoming with certain medical issues or other challenges that have started to become apparent, so it’s up to you to watch for certain warning signs that something might be wrong.
Keep an eye out and observe these five behaviors in your parents as they could be early indications that a serious health matter is starting to take hold.
This one is all too common an indicator that something is amiss. Forgetting things isn’t necessarily an automatic problem. We all do it on occasion. Misplacing the house keys or a pair of eyeglasses is no big deal. But if you see that one of your parents is forgetting how to speak, finding themselves lost in familiar areas, or having trouble remembering names and places, then these could be a sign of something more serious such as dementia or an onset of early Alzheimer’s disease.
One of the biggest senior health issues is an inability to move around. As we age, it can become more difficult to walk due to arthritis and muscle pain. Sometimes it’s just a general uneasiness to stand up that can also prevent seniors from getting around easily. So take a look at how your parents are able to move, does walking seem challenging or even frightening to them? If so, they could be at risk of falling and that can lead to serious health consequences.
Hygiene and Appearance
Bathing, brushing your teeth, getting dressed, we take these things for granted as typical routines we conduct every day. But for seniors battling certain health issues, these routines can fall by the wayside. That could be a sign of a problem. So if your parents are neglecting to bathe themselves or are unable to do the things they have done every day of their lives in this regard, it might be time to intervene and talk to them about their ability to take care of themselves. This goes for preparing meals around the house as well. If your parents are forgetting to eat or having trouble cooking food, this is also a sign that something needs to be addressed immediately.
Seniors behind the wheel can pose significant dangers to themselves and others if they are having difficulty driving. Visible signs of confusion behind the wheel, failing to recognize familiar landmarks or neighborhoods, and lacking the basic fundamentals of operating any part of the vehicle even something as minor as the radio, may all be indications that your parent should not be driving anymore.
Has there been any dramatic shift in your parents’ demeanor or mood? Seniors experiencing depression, pain, or dementia will tend to demonstrate major changes in the way they act, speak, and react to you and others. If you notice any such changes, you may want to think about looking into a seniors helping seniors in home care program, particularly if one parent lives alone and has no one to talk to or socialize with on a daily basis.