Three Signs to Watch for in an Aging Parent

Three Signs to Watch for in an Aging Parent

As children, we rely on our parents to watch out for us, keep us safe, and help us grow into successful adults. But as they age alongside us, these roles can reverse, leading to the children being the caregiver to the parent. 

This is a big adjustment, and it can be difficult to navigate. You may not know when it is appropriate to step in or the best way to address ailing health in a parent. Sadly, there is no one size fits all solution because every person and health situation is unique. 

That being said, there are many warning signs you can be on the lookout for and a multitude of intervention opportunities that could help protect an aging parent. This article will discuss a few of the key signals to watch for in aging parents, and how to address them if they arise. 

Our parents have done a lot to protect and nourish us, and with this list, you will be equipped to return the favor. 


Three Signs to Watch for in an Aging Parent

1) Poor Hygiene and Neglect of Self Care 

One sign that could indicate a possible health problem in an aging parent is poor hygiene. If you begin to notice that your parent is not willing or able to shower or bathe normally, and has new and/or distinct body odor, it may be a warning of their deteriorating health. 

Many seniors forget or lose the ability to continue daily self-care functions like brushing their teeth or washing their faces. By neglecting these basic hygiene musts, they open themselves up to a host of medical issues, including infection. 

If you notice these types of changes, encourage your loved one to make a self-care schedule and checklist so they don’t forget to take care of themselves and remind them of the importance of basic self-care practices. 

2) Mobility Changes

Monitoring someone’s gait, speed, and overall mobility stands as one of the best ways to look out for their overall well-being. Many medical issues that affect joints, muscles, bones, and even the nervous system begin by presenting in a person’s mobility. 

Signs like slower-than-normal movement, shakiness, and inability to use stairs may be indicative of an underlying health problem. If you begin to see your loved one experience mobility changes, we encourage you to begin a dialogue with them about how they are feeling and consult a physician to ensure serious issues are not hiding beneath the surface.

3) Difficulty with Memory

Many older people start to struggle with short-term memory. This could be true of your loved one, and catching this type of issue early is one of the best ways to slow neurological decline. Difficulty remembering is also problematic because it can exacerbate existing issues. 

For example, a loved one who is already struggling with self-care may have this issue compounded if they are unable to remember their self-care practices. These types of issues could also lead a parent to forget to take medication or attend important medical appointments, further compounding their medical issues. 

One way to help keep up with a deteriorating nervous system is by stimulating the brain with brain games or just some good old-fashioned social interaction. A study published in the National Library of Medicine found that even only a few minutes of socializing can work wonders on an ailing brain. 

Where to Go from Here

These are just a few of the signs to look out for as your parents begin to get older and have more trouble keeping up with their own healthcare. You should also be vigilant of their living space to ensure that it remains suitable for them as they get older and their mobility and lifestyle needs evolve, and keep an eye on their diet and weight. 

Besides socialization, another great way to combat aging is by staying as active as possible. This could look different for different people, and you should never push a loved one past their comfort zone when it comes to exercise. You also have to keep in mind that getting a loved one to and from outdoor activities can be difficult. 

Luckily the experts at loyal lifts understand exactly what it is like to live with mobility challenges. Our team is prepared to help you travel safely and easily, regardless of your ability. We have even compiled a sure-fire list of outdoor activities specially selected for the aging loved ones in our lives. Check out some of our favorites here:  10 Activities Seniors Can Accomplish in Asheville with Comfortable Transportation.

Always remember, if your loved one ever has any transportation needs, you can trust Loyal Lifts as a reliable and safe transportation option. You can check out our website to learn more about our services. Contact us to help your loved ones schedule a ride today!