Thursday, December 22, 2016

Eight Signs of Health Problems in Aging Parents

Being aware of changes in our loved ones’ health can be a first step toward addressing the issue.  Since we know that catching problems early can be instrumental in preventing more serious problems later on, it is worthwhile to know some of the warning signs that indicate changes may be occurring. 
The Mayo Clinic has put together 8 signs for children (and caring relatives) to look for in regards to potential health problems with their aging parents.
  • Are your parents taking care of themselves? 
    Pay attention to your parents’ appearance to determine if they are neglecting their personal hygiene.  Also look at the condition of their home.  Is it being kept up?  A home neglected and in disrepair can be a sign of dementia or depression.
  • Are your aging parents experiencing memory loss?
    Memory loss is a normal part of aging but there is a difference between forgetting keys or an appointment to serious problems that interfere with peoples’ lives.  More concerning would be your parent forgetting common words when speaking, getting lost in their own neighborhood, or not being able to follow directions.
  • Are your aging parents safe in their home?
    Inspect the home for unsafe conditions that may exist.  Has either parent fallen recently?  Are they still able to read directions on their medicine containers?
  • Are your aging parents safe on the road?
    Does either parent get confused while driving?  If you are concerned and think they should be off the road, provide the information for other means of transportation.
  • Have your parents lost weight?
    Losing weight without trying can be a sign that something is wrong.  It may be a symptom of an underlying health problem.  Also a loss of smell or taste can interfere with the pleasure of eating or it may be they are having trouble cooking and preparing food.
  • Are your aging parents in good spirits?
    Have you noticed a marked change in your parents’ mood and outlook?  Ask how they're feeling. A significant change in attitude about life could be a sign of depression or other health concerns.
  • Are your aging parents still social?
    Are they keeping up with friends? Are your parents still interested in hobbies and/or involved in organizations or clubs?  If a parent gives up social ties it could be a sign of a problem.
  • Are your aging parents able to get around?
    Do your parents have difficulty walking any kind of distance?  Would they benefit from a cane or walker?  Do they have problems with their knees or hips?  Are your parents unsteady on their feet and at risk of falling?  Falls are a major cause of disabilities for seniors.    
    Communicate with your parents that you care about their wellbeing and want what is in their best interest.  Encourage them to talk to you about any problems they may be having and make sure they see their doctor for regular check-ups.  If you have found problems with their living conditions, address them.  If it seems like your parents need more assistance than you are able to provide, consider looking into an assisted living community.
MorningStarof Sparks’ unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest” sets us apart from other senior communities.  Committed to creating a true home for residents within a gorgeous setting, our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve.  We invite you to schedule a visit to learn more about our exceptional senior living.


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