Constantly loosing weight
Losing weight without any apparent reason could be a warning that something is not quite right somewhere. In case of ageing parents, there could be many factors in play, like:
- Inability to cook: Your parents might be finding it troublesome to cook because of falling energy levels, problems in reading labels or directions on food products, making them undernourished, and thus losing weight.
- Losing sensation of taste and smell: Some form of loss of smell and taste is usual in old age, particularly after the decade of sixties. In some seniors, illness or medicines might be the culprit causing the loss of taste and smell. Your parents’ of course will eat food less if it does not smell or taste appetizing.
- Other underlying conditions: Take care, at times serious underlying conditions like Dementia, depression or Cancer might be responsible for the loss of weight.
Parents’ not taking adequate care of themselves
Always take care to notice if your parents are taking good care of themselves or not. If your parents are failing to keep up with daily tasks like brushing their teeth, bathing and other basic grooming activities, it’s time to take notice. For serious health problems like depression, dementia or physical impairment might be making them lag behind in completing these basic tasks.
Another thing to notice is to keep a tab on your parents’ home. Check if all the lights are working, are the washrooms clean, and whether the garden is well maintained. Any small change in the way they do things could be indicative of the changes in their health. Like for example, scorched cooking utensils would be a clear clue that your parents often forget about food cooking on the stove. Neglect towards housework can be a symptom or sign of dementia, depression or other health problems.
Safety at home
Take care to check if your parents are safe in their home. See if they have trouble climbing the stairs? Have they fallen in the recent past? Are they now unable to read the labels of medicine containers? Etc.
How well are your parents doing emotionally
Keep a tab on how happy your parents are. Any sudden change in mood can be indicative of an impending health problem like depression, or other similar conditions. Keep checking if your parents are maintaining an active social life, following hobbies, etc to make sure you do not miss any early signs.
Difficulty moving around
Always notice how your parents walk. If they are facing problems with their walking, find out the exact cause. Is it the hip or knee Arthritis making it difficult for them to move? Do they require help from a cane or walker to aid movement? Are they suffering from joint problems or muscle weakness or any other age related trouble? If you find your parents facing any of these problems, take care as they might be at a risk of falling which is a major reason of disability amongst seniors.
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