Health Issues to Pick Up on in Seniors (Because They Might Not Notice)
We are all getting older. We might not like to think about our later years, but the reality is that aging affects our bodies in different ways. However, as we age, we might not notice the ways our bodies change. Or we might realize, but find it difficult to accept what’s happening. If you have elderly relatives or friends, from parents to neighbors, watching them closely can be a huge favor to them. You can help to pick up on problems they might not notice themselves, or perhaps help them confront an issue they have been trying to ignore. Here are some things you can look out for in your senior loved ones.
It’s very common for aging to affect the eyes. Many people find that they have to start wearing reading glasses, and there are several eye conditions that are more common in people over 50. The problem is, people don’t always realize that their sight has deteriorated. It’s not until your vision is corrected that you can realize how bad it was! If someone is having trouble seeing, you might notice them squinting, holding reading material far away (or closer), or perhaps they might stop doing something they usually love. The best way to pick up on eye problems is regular eye exams.
Finding it hard to hear is another common problem for seniors. In fact, 3 in 10 people over 60 have hearing loss, and 1 in 6 baby boomers have difficulty hearing. If someone is having problems with their hearing, it’s often those around them who notice first. They might start turning music or the TV up louder than usual. Some people might ask others to repeat what they say several times or mishear what someone says to them. Much of the time, visiting an audiologist to get fitted for hearing aids is the best solution. Hearing aids are made to fit people individually. They will boost the hearing and make everyday situations easier again.
Issues with Memory
Trouble with remembering things can also creep up on someone when they’re getting older. It could manifest in a number of ways, from forgetting to go to appointments to not remembering to turn the oven off. Of course, many people have moments of forgetfulness, so when should you worry? If it’s happening a lot, it’s best not to brush it off. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, as forgetfulness and confusion could be signs of dementia. However, they could also be symptoms of some other conditions, so seeing a doctor is always best.
Changes in Mood or Attitude
As well as problems with memory, some people can experience changes in their mood or the way they act. Sudden changes in personality might be an indication of dementia, or they can also suggest other health conditions, both physical and mental. For example, depression could be a possibility. It can be easy to wave away mood swings as someone being grumpy in their old age, but extreme changes shouldn’t be ignored. Other things to look out for include inappropriate behavior, especially if the person is usually more conservative in their attitude.
Struggling to Drive
Driving is a key skill for most adults, but it can get more difficult as you get older. This might be because of vision problems, but it can also link to mobility and cognitive functions too. Sometimes, if someone is having issues with driving, they could end up in trouble. Alternatively, they might just stop driving because they don’t feel capable. If you think someone you know isn’t safe while driving, talking to them about it should be your first step. They might need to find an alternative mode of transport or perhaps see a doctor.
Problems with Mobility
Our bodies have seen a lot of use by the time we reach our later years, and there can be a number of reasons for experiencing mobility issues. From arthritis to general wear and tear, getting around and doing everyday tasks can be a little more difficult. You might notice this while watching someone moving around, but it can also be something you pick up on by observing their living conditions. You might find that the house isn’t clean or that groceries haven’t been put away (or thrown away). Being vigilant when it comes to these issues will help you pick up on whether someone you know might need some help.
Not everyone will notice when they have a health problem, and those who do might not want to face it. If you know someone in their senior years, help them out by keeping an eye on them.