Sadly, most of us experience a significant decline in health as we age. While diet, exercise, and other habits can play a major role in keeping us healthy, some things are outside of our control.
When it comes to watching your parents go through these changes, it can be difficult to know what to do. It can also be difficult to tell which warning signs are indicative of deteriorating health and which ones are signs of natural ageing.
If you have any concerns or think your parents may already be experiencing declining health, make sure you educate yourself as much as possible. Keep reading to learn more.
Trouble Sitting Down and Standing Up
One of the most common signs of deteriorating health is when your parents struggle to get up and down. This can be standing up out of a chair, sitting down to use the toilet, or getting up out of bed.
While muscle atrophy is common among anyone who isn’t physically active, it can become debilitating as we get older and it progresses. However, difficulty manoeuvring can also be due to pain caused by arthritis and other chronic issues or past injuries.
Like other organs of our body, our brain also deteriorates as we age. This can lead to dementia. Dementia is relatively common, affecting one in people over the age of 65 and one in six people over the age of 80.
While you can’t expect your parents to remember what they had for dinner a month ago, not remembering long term memories, familiar names, important events, and losing touch with the present can be worrying.
Additionally, dementia may also come in the form of:
- Difficulty speaking
- Difficulty understanding basic concepts or conversation
- Loss of thinking speed
- Difficulty with daily activities
Adults suffering from dementia need a lot of hands-on care. If you and your family can’t take care of your parents, it may be time to consider memory care assisted living aids or facilities.
Difficulty Taking Care of Themselves
For one or more reasons, your parents may experience difficulty taken care of themselves. This could include issues with hygiene, nutrition (unexplained weight loss), paying bills, taking care of chores around the house, etc.
Several deteriorating health complications could cause these issues. As previously noted, this may be due to the symptoms of dementia. Alternatively, if your parent feels too weak to get up and take care of themselves, things like hygiene and nutrition will fall by the wayside.
Changes in Mood
Finally, your parent’s deteriorating health may present itself in changes in their mood or even their personality. This is often another sign of dementia.
If they start falling in and out of depression or anxiety and don’t have a history of doing so, it may be a significant sign. However, depression and anxiety can increase with less physical activity, staying in the house over long periods, etc.
Your parent may also become uncharacteristically introverted and closed off, even to close friends and family members.
Are You Worried About Your Parent’s Deteriorating Health?
One of the biggest questions that come to mind when you notice a parent’s deteriorating health is what to do about it.
We recommend encouraging your parents to seek medical professionals. They may be averse to the idea, but if you express how important it is to you, they may be willing to change their minds.
Additionally, consider hiring in-home care for your parents if they’re struggling to take care of themselves. Alternatively, there are fantastic assisted living facilities all across the country.
Remember to check out more of our articles for more valuable advice and information.