It is almost depressing to see your parents, who once lifted you on their shoulder and carried you around strongly, can no longer do so—thanks to ageing getting the better of them.
However, it’s important to keep your emotions aside for a bit and pay more attention to the physical and behavioural changes happening in your parents in order to figure out if their health is deteriorating and needs more attention.
Look out for these five signs while you’re at it:
1. They just can’t seem to keep up with their responsibilities anymore
Perhaps, your parents take more days off from work due to an illness or weakness every now and then.
Every season change requires you to take your ailing parents for a visit to the doctor. Or they’re probably not as physically active as they used to be. These are a few pointers that could be hinting at their immunity and physical strength getting weaker.
2. They’ve become more forgetful
If mommy seems to forget getting half the grocery items; doesn’t remember birthdays and special dates like she used to; forgets to turn off the television, fan or washing machine quite often; gets confused between people and places and time; finds it difficult to follow instructions—it’s time for you to take her for a proper medical examination because forgetfulness could be the start of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
An early diagnosis can help her case though as preventive methods can be adopted for damage control.
3. Joint aches have become an inevitable part of their lives
From a jittery walk to stiffness in their body to a difficulty in carrying out a physical activity as effortlessly as they could before, to complaining of joint aches and sitting with a hot water bottle stuck to their knees 24×7, these signs could be indicating the deterioration of your parents’ bone health.
Thus, you’ve got to take them to a doctor asap, who can detect the problem and make the required modifications like adding calcium and vitamin D to their diet or simply giving supplements for the same.
4. Unexplained crankiness and seclusion
Old age is bound to bring a lot of your parents’ fears to the surface. Their declining health and mobility and increasing dependence, for instance, could make them more cranky or secluded.
As a result, you could be subjected to bouts of their unexplained anger or simply witness a change in the way they interacted socially. FYI, some psychiatric help and reassurance from your side can take care of this situation.
5. An unintentional weight loss
If your parents have been losing weight without controlling their diet or engaging in a physical activity, so much so that they begin to look weak and frail, it could be due to several underlying serious causes such as malnutrition, depression, dementia, anxiety disorders, cardiovascular/respiratory/gastrointestinal disease or a chronic infection as per a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Hence, you’ve got to take this seriously and consult a doc for a timely treatment.