#23.2 Physical Symptoms & Emotional / Mental Changes to Look for


Mary Alexander: Hi! I’m Mary Alexander from
Home Instead Senior Care and today I’m discussing how to care for the entire senior. Now I’m
going to talk about the physical and emotional signs of aging. Does your parent seem tired
all the time? When you call, are you waking him or from a nap? Persistent fatigue and
loss of energy are just two of the physical signs that your parent might be struggling
and maybe in need of extra attention. Recognizing the physical and emotional signs of aging
doesn’t take a lot of time and some symptoms you can even hear over the phone. When you
talk with your parents, ask how they’re feeling and if they’re still engaging in their usual
social activities. Are they still going to church services or meeting friends for coffee
or getting to the club? If you notice they have lost interest in socializing or have
stopped participating in hobbies that could be a sign of depression. It’s also possible
that there is an underlying physical health issue that’s causing them to back away from
the things they once enjoyed. Sometimes, the signal you get from your loved
one is very drastic such as a major change in mood or outlook. For instance, does your
parent go from happy to crying in seconds or coming across more irritable and grumpy
than normal? Do not ignore these signs; in fact keep an eye out to see if they persist
over a stretch of days or weeks. You might also check with friends and neighbors to see
if they are noticing these behavior changes as well. On the more physical side, when visiting with
your senior loved one, take note if he or she has difficulty getting up or is unsteady
when standing. See if their gate has changed or if they’re using items to balance themselves
as they walk from room to room. If you notice difficulty in their mobility,
be sure to take a closer look in the bathroom at towel bars, window sills, and shower curtains.
Check to see if any of them are loose and pulling away from the wall or in the case
of the shower curtain, is it torn. If your senior is having trouble getting off
the toilet, they could have developed a several step process of using one or more of these
items to get up. That’s a definite sign that help is needed. Other physical symptoms of underlying health
issues are a loss of appetite and weight loss. Are you hearing the words I’m not hungry more
often? Check over the grocery list, is there more junk food or items that are easier to
prepare but are lacking in nutritional value. In either case, your parents could be putting
themselves at risk of lacking proper nutrition that could lead to other more serious health
issues. For sure, these physical and emotional signs
are all tough issues to face but ignoring any of them could prove more dangerous and
costly to your loved one. Unfortunately, they are not the only signs of aging. In the next video, we’ll take a look at loss
of attention signals and environmental clues.

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