Far too often an aging adult exhibits health symptoms that are cause for concern but they remain unnoticed or overlooked because many assume that these seemingly minor health concerns simply go hand in hand with aging. It’s important to pay attention to even the most minor changes in physical, mental, emotional and social health as an aging parent grows older. Little things like changes in appetite or mood can signal serious health conditions. This is one reason why it’s beneficial to have the help of a 24/7 live-in Mesa caregiver who is able to constantly monitor changes in health and report them to family members and physicians. Here are 5 symptoms that you or an in-home senior care professional should always be aware of:
- Mental health issues including dementia are a significant factor to consider in aging adults. Common symptoms include changes in mood, sleeping habits, social interactions, eating habits or energy levels and the inability to work with numbers, memory loss or moments of disorientation. The sooner dementia is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin to slow cognitive decline.
- Depression among seniors is another cause for concern that often goes unnoticed. As social interactions become less frequent, exercise dwindles to a minimum and many seniors become home-bound, depression is likely to set in. An in-home caregiver is a great solution as they can act as a daily companion, encourage and accompany seniors during exercise and help with mobility in and outside of the home. If depression is left untreated it can lead to a rapid decline in physical and mental health.
- Confusion can be a major symptom that is exhibited in older adults when they have pneumonia. Therefore, caregivers should look for the mental health signs as well as a dry cough or breathing difficulties as these symptoms can be less obvious among seniors.
- Many medications can cause dehydration. Due to a lack of energy along with aches and pains, elderly adults can be less willing to fill up with fluids. Additionally, as we age our sense of thirst declines and our kidneys aren’t able to hold on to as much water. Dehydration can lead to serious ailments such as urinary tract infections and pneumonia, both of which are very dangerous for older adults and will likely require hospitalization if not caught early enough.
- Stroke symptoms such as vision problems, numbness, difficulty with speech, cognitive issues, trouble with motor skills, headaches and even sudden feelings of apathy should not be overlooked. It’s important to spot these stroke symptoms and get your aging loved one to a hospital as soon as possible because there is only a small three hour window in which a stroke patient can receive a vital clot-dissolving drug.
While these symptoms, such as lack of desire to socialize and loss of appetite, might seem like standard behavior as someone ages, they could be signaling to a bigger health issue. If your aging loved one is expressing a change in behavior or health, consult a physician. When in doubt, hire an hourly or 24/7 caregiver from Home Care Assistance of Mesa who is able to monitor your aging parent’s health while providing you and your aging loved one’s physicians with thorough notes and reports. Call (480) 699-4899 for more information or to schedule a complementary in-home consultation.