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Things To Look For While Spending Time With An Aging Loved One

Often times, changes in an aging loved one happens slowly over time. When we see our loved one often, noticing deterioration in mental or physical health can go unnoticed until a crisis happens.  There a few things that you can look for regularly. It's also helpful to ask a family member, that isn't around frequently, to look for any of the following changes while they are visiting for a holiday or family event. 

1) Weight Loss

One of the most obvious signs of decreased health, either physical or mental, is weight loss. There are many reasons for weight loss in the elderly. Possible causes could include illness, dementia or depression. Reduced energy can make it challenging to shop for and prepare a nutritious meal. Eating alone can also lead to a lack of desire to prepare and sit down for a meal. This is often seen after the loss of a spouse. Certain medications and aging in general can change the way food tastes. Malnutrition can lead to many serious issues in the elderly. If weight loss is evident, talk to your loved one about your concerns and schedule a doctor's appointment to address the issue. 

2) Changes In Balance & Mobility

When spending time with your loved one, pay attention to how well they are getting around. Watch for reluctance to walk, changes in gait or pain during movement. If your loved one is unsteady on their feet, they may be at risk for falling.  This can lead to severe injury. Or worse. It can also be a sign of many underlying and treatable issues. If you notice changes in their mobility or coordination, make a doctor's appointment to discuss causes and options to keep them safe and mobile. 

3) Emotional Well-being

Gauging someone's emotional/mental health can be difficult. In the elderly, there a few key signs to look for.  

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