One of the most distressing problems that come with old age is losing your independence. For those that are in their senior years, it’s difficult when life gets a bit too much to handle. Perhaps you have elderly parents who are now less mobile. It’s hard to acknowledge that those sprightly figures that taught you how to ride without stabilisers may now be a little rocky on their path. How do you know when it’s time to start looking after your parents?
A Change In Mood
Old-age can be a big downer as aches and pains kick in, and nap times become more frequent. Perhaps their flexibility has now depleted. Their energy levels may be waning and you find they’re sleeping more. These old-age signs are perfectly normal, but if their mood also starts to change, it may be a warning sign. They might become reclusive. Or they may seem more grumpy every day. If their mood is low, they may be feeling isolated, lonely or worthless. Try and boost their mood by inviting them for regular dinners and including them in activities with the children. Suggest new hobbies such as chess or tai chi. Make sure they are eating healthily and taking low impact exercise classes if they can.
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Losing Their Appetite
If you notice that your elderly relatives have lost their appetite, this can be a warning sign of underlying health problems. Our appetite does reduce as we reach old age, but if there are worrying signs, consider something may be wrong. There could be dental issues or indigestion problems. It may be down to the fact that they have lost motivation to cook. Or perhaps they just don’t have the energy to do so anymore.
Falling Over & Vision Loss
Life expectancy has increased, and we are living longer. But elderly people are still affected by arthritis and osteoporosis. As bones become weaker, falls are more likely. If you have a parent that lives alone, you may be worried about falls. Bones break more easily the older we get, and the knock-on effects of this can be dangerous to those in senior life. Macular degeneration is a common problem for those in later life. It can cause blurry vision and the inability to recognise faces. It can be a terrifying time for your parents. Bone density loss and eyesight should be checked regularly. Earlier this year I wrote a post about my elderly Mum and on waiting for an ambulance. It was a frightening time and one that warrants thinking more about the care of our elderly parents.
One of the scariest parts of getting older is the worry that you may lose your memory. We all forget things from time-to-time, even names of family members, or where why we walked into a room. But if your parents are forgetting recent events, or are not thinking clearly, it’s another worrying sign. By 2025 it’s stated that there will be 1 million people with dementia in the UK, and it’s a progressive disease. If you are worried about a parent, make an appointment at the doctors straight away.
Decrease In Personal Care
If you are noticing that your parents aren’t taking care of their personal hygiene or the way they keep their home, it’s a red flag. It could be a sign that they need more help that they want to ask for. Their health may be ailing, and they may not have the energy or confidence to take care of the house anymore. Check the kitchen and bathroom for signs of lack of care. As distressing as it is it may be time to consider moving your parents/parent into your home. And if that is not possible, or if you have a fight on your hands, it could be time to consider a 24 hr Live In Care Agency. Care agencies specialise in helping the elderly to have a rewarding life in their home, safe in the knowledge that care is on hand day and night.
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We are all scared of getting older, losing our mobility and losing our independence. When our lives are so busy, sometimes we forget what is happening to others. But there are ways to keep elderly parents feeling wanted and respected. You just need to make sure you are aware of impending problems and find solutions that work for everyone.