Visiting elderly parents regularly is important. Not only do they need their childrens’ company, but they may also need to be assessed for signs of problems. Children need to be aware of the warning signs to look for when their elderly parents may be experiencing cognitive declines. Visiting for the holidays is a great time to assess the needs of the elderly and ensure they are functioning well on their own or they need assisted living help.
The Elderly Will Not Always Admit They Need Help
Many elderly people like to remain as self-sufficient and private as possible. It is difficult for people to admit they are getting older and cannot do the things they once were capable of doing. Seniors will especially find it arduous to admit they need memory care services because of their mental declines. Sometimes, seniors do not even notice the changes.
Children and other loved ones need to be involved in the lives of seniors as much as possible. Sometimes, the elderly simply need a little help to keep them going. If there are troubling signs occurring, loved ones may need to get involved and seek outside help, such as assisted living.
Warning Signs to Look For When Visiting Elderly Relatives
Whether it is a parent, aunt, or simply a family friend, the holidays can be difficult for the elderly. Many seniors feel incredible amounts of loss and loneliness during this time of the year, which is why it is essential for loved ones to visit regularly and do all they can for their seniors. If a person notices any of the following signs with their elderly loved one, it is important to seek medical care and determine what is causing the changes.
1. Weight Loss
While it is not worrisome if a person has lost a few pounds, extreme changes in weight can be troubling. One of the most obvious signs of problems with a person’s health is often in their weight. Potential causes of extreme weight loss are cancer, dementia, and even depression. It is important to find out if the senior is eating enough each day. If they are experiencing issues obtaining or preparing food, loved ones need to get involved as soon as possible.
2. Balance and Mobility
It is important for individuals to pay close attention to the way their elderly loved ones walk. Are they balancing well, or are they stumbling? Changes in gait or a reluctance to remain mobile should be concerning. If issues are present, it is important individuals take their loved ones to the doctor to have them checked for problems.
3. Mood and Behavior
If there are drastic changes or fluctuations in behavior, a mental decline could be to blame. It is sometimes difficult to gauge a person’s mood while talking on the phone or through text. It is difficult for seniors to cover up their changes in mood and behavior when face to face with a loved one. It is important for individuals to visit their elderly family members regularly and look for any signs of changes in behavior so action can be taken immediately.
4. Home Environment
How is the home environment? Look carefully at the senior’s surroundings. Is their home clean and tidy? Does it have a pleasant smell? Look for piles of mail or newspapers. Check to make sure there is food in the fridge and any pets are being cared for correctly. If any issues are noticed, loved ones may need to consider getting outside help for their senior parents. Getting community help may be necessary.
Seek Medical Attention
If any of the above is a concern, individuals should schedule a doctor’s appointment for their elderly loved one and go to the visit with them. An individual should report the changes in behavior and other issues they have noticed so the doctor can begin to investigate the causes.
Diagnostic testing can rule out physical and mental health issues that may be causing the problems. Thorough testing should be done to rule out any health conditions that could place the elderly person’s life in danger.
If mild cognitive declines are occurring, individuals may simply need to monitor their loved ones and give extra help. If there are life-threatening changes occurring, outside intervention is a must. This may mean encouraging the senior to become a resident of a senior living neighborhood.
Fountain Square of Lompoc offers an integrative assisted living community that protects the health and wellbeing of seniors. Here, the elderly can get to know many friends and enjoy a wide array of social activities that will help them stay happy and avoid depression.