Even as adults, we often tend to shy away from the fact that our parents are getting older. It’s a normal reaction as such thoughts are usually accompanied by upsetting speculations about the future. However, it is important to get past speculative fears after a certain point in time, and to do what we can to ensure the wellbeing of our aging parents. Look for signs of poor health like the ones we are about to discuss next because they are also indicative of the fact that they need your assistance.
An Uncharacteristically Shabby Home
If your parental house or apartment looks like no one is taking care of it in the way that they used to, it is indicative of:
- Physical disability, pain, injury, or disease, which isn’t allowing them to be active enough to take care of their home
- Mental/cognitive impairment, which is interfering with their ability to even perform regular household chores
- They are in deep depression
- In extreme cases, it’s both a combination of physical and mental impairments
Seek medical help as soon as possible to diagnose and treat the underlying issue, but that should not be the end of it. If your parent is staying alone, they will likely need healthier and happier living conditions from now on. Even the most dedicated children are not always equipped to handle medical emergencies, not to mention the fact that moving in with your parent may not even be an option for you right away.
Shifting to a Monarch Senior Living Community could be the best decision for them at that time. Whether they have any permanent physical/mental impairment or not, rest assured that loneliness, inactivity, depression, inattention, and lack of immediate medical assistance will never be an issue for your parent ever again.
Rapid Weight Loss
If the elder in question is actively trying to lose weight with a proper diet and regular exercise, then this should not be seen as a sign of illness. However, rapid weight loss without justifiable and conscious effort indicates that something is wrong. It can be indicative of an underlying disease, or age-related cognitive impairment. Tragic as it is, seniors suffering from neurodegenerative diseases will often suffer from heavy malnutrition and dehydration simply because they can no longer remember how or when to eat and drink.
Drastic Personality Change
We all change with time, irrespective of our age. However, the kind of change we are discussing here can be easily noticed because it will be sudden and drastic. Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s are not the only things that can lead to such a drastic change in personality among seniors. Loneliness, depression, PTSD, UTIs, etc. can also bring about severe changes in an elder’s personality. They may seem:
- Overtly vulnerable to negative emotional states (sad, aggressive, angry, violent)
- Prone to manic episodes marked by excessive energy, irritability, and overindulgence
- Bipolar or manic-depressive; extremely unstable moods with polarizing shifts from mania to depression
- Forgetful and apathetic
- Prone to anxiety, insomnia, parasomnia, and irrational fears
It is of the utmost importance to consult a professional psychiatrist for an evaluation of the problem, as wells as for considering possible treatment avenues. Living alone is not a good option for your parent anymore, and you should consider assisted senior living communities for their own safety and wellbeing.