None of us are getting any younger, and if you’re still fortunate enough to have your parents around, neither are they or any other older family or friends. There will come a time when they might struggle to take care of themselves, perhaps because of the natural decline of their bodies and senses, or because they start to show signs of particular health problems. Thankfully my parents are as spry as ever but my very early working years was spend in geriatrics and therefore I know that there comes a time when we all might need a little help.
If you have someone in your life approaching golden years you need to be alert to any issues for their care and safety, as despite their best interests, they might be too proud to ask you for a little help.
These are some of the signs you need to look out for.
#1: Signs of Forgetfulness
Many of us start to get forgetful with age. It’s a natural decline in our cognitive abilities, and while there are ways to reduce this ageing effect, such as by engaging our brains on a regular basis, we might still start to have problems at some point in our lives. So, be on the lookout for signs of memory loss. They might have trouble remembering simple things, such as the names of your children. And you might realise that they have forgotten to take their medications. In the worst-case scenario, it could be that your parents or others you might be responsible for are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, so check on the signs and symptoms within the linked article, and speak to your their GP/someone suitable for more advice on how to help them. For general memory loss, you might also set up alarms and reminders on their phone to help them remember important dates and things they need to do. It might just be that they need a little help with certain things.
#2: Signs of Depression
Depression does not discriminate and strikes all ages. It can be common amongst elderly people living alone, as it is usually symptomatic of loneliness. You can spot this when talking to your parent or other loved one. Other signs include a messy house or weight loss, as they might be less inclined to clean and eat as a consequence of how they are feeling. Help them by finding social activities in your local area, or visit them more often. You might also consider inviting them to stay with you if you have room in your house. And if you don’t have a lot of space, you could acquire the services of granny flat builders to provide extra accommodation on the grounds of your property. Again, speak to your parent’s GP for further advice if you feel someone close to you might need a little help.
#3: Signs of Mobility Issues
Mobility can become an issue for many of us as we get older, as our bones and muscles start to weaken with age. This might be true for your parents or indeed anyone, so be on the lookout for any signs that they might need extra help. If you notice any bruising on their body, it might be because they have fallen. If they start to breathe heavily when walking, it might be because they are in pain. And if you see them struggle with steps or stairs, or if they are regularly in need of something to hold onto when walking, then they are obviously struggling. These are just a few things to look out for.
Thankfully, there are some easy ways to help them. By buying them a walking aid, they will have less trouble with balance. By modifying their home, you can also make life easier for them. Still, speak to your parent’s or loved one’s GP, as they might also need specialist help, especially if they are suffering from any degenerative bone diseases or any other issue that might affect their balance and mobility.
I hope this article was useful but let me know what you think. If you have any other advice for me readers based on your experiences, be sure to let me know.