How to Spot Health Problems in Your Aging Parents

Senior health problems can crop up unexpectedly and it’s important to identify them before they become a serious matter. Aging brings with it a litany of potential medical issues and many of them can be detected early, you just need to know what the signs are and how to read them. Check out these common indicators that there could be emerging health concerns in your parents, recognizing them now could be the key to avoiding bigger, more serious challenges later on.

Personal Hygiene

One of the early warning signs of a medical issue in seniors is a decline in their personal hygiene and appearance. A loss of interest in bathing or forgetting to brush their teeth for days at a time should be considered serious and you must talk to your parent about the problem. See how they react and if it’s evident that they are unable to perform simple daily routines of grooming then you may be dealing with early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Intervention is necessary.

Weight Loss

Sometimes seniors forget to eat or they don’t have much of an appetite due to a medication they are on or they’re just not feeling all that hungry on occasion. This is nothing alarming, if it’s a sporadic thing. But if you notice your parents are losing weight, then you may have a more immediate issue to address. Ask your parents if they are having difficulty preparing their meals or if they have lost interest in food. Weight loss is a very serious matter and it could be an early sign of a much larger concern.

Loss of Memory

Everyone forgets something on occasion. A missed appointment, misplaced car keys, you forgot to set the DVR for that TV show you wanted to watch. No big deal. However, memory loss in seniors can be something more severe and if your parent is having trouble remembering even the simplest things, losing items, or placing them in areas where they don’t belong, these are all symptoms of a larger problem. Talk to your parent about how often they forget things and see if it’s time to consult with a compassionate senior care provider for assistance.

Home Safety

We all feel safe in our homes, it’s where we live. But for seniors the home can pose various dangers and hazards that should be identified and addressed as soon as possible. If you notice your parents having trouble moving around in a certain room or hallway or find recent damage in the kitchen or a laundry area, these could all be signs that the home is no longer safe for them.

Getting Around

Mobility is important but if your parents are expressing discomfort or pain in trying to walk, then action might need to be taken. Aging brings on joint and arthritis issues, weak muscles, even vertigo, and that can make moving around difficult. Talk to them about their ability to move around and discuss the options that are available to make it easier to do. A wheelchair or a simple cane could do wonders for their mobility.

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