The human body changes with age. This includes well known and visible changes such as wrinkles or menopause, but will also include changes in memory, muscle strength, and even digestion. While some changes are normal signs of aging, others can be a warning for a serious problem. Whether you are the designated caretaker for an elderly relative, or you just want to ensure that your loved one gets the best care- here are five signs not to ignore:
- Short-Term Memory Loss: Our short-term memory is tied to current events such as whether we’ve left the stove on, or where we parked the car. While memory typically decreases with age, rapid short-term memory decline has been related to Alzheimer’s, Dementia and other neurological problems.
- Sudden Vision Changes: While vision will change gradually with age, sudden loss of vision- even it if is transient- can be a sign of an impending stroke, carotid artery disease or even diabetes. Certain changes, such as sudden loss of vision in one eye, can be due to a blockage in the artery or vein and will cause irreparable damage to vision if they are not treated.
- Slurred Speech: If your loved one’s speech changes drastically, it could be the sign of a stroke. If your loved one’s speech becomes incoherent in the middle of a sentence, watch for other stroke signs including loss of motor control on one side of the body. If this happens, call 911 as soon as possible.
- New Headaches: Many people experience headaches throughout their lifetime. But if your loved one has seldom been bothered by headaches before, and is now complaining, this could be the sign of a serious problem. Other signs to watch for include jaw claudication, tender scalp, and headaches that wake from sleep.
- Chest Pains: This can be a sign of a heart attack or heart disease. Chest pain should be investigated as soon as possible.
Caring for a loved one can be a big responsibility. Sutton In-Home Senior Care is here to help keep your loved one safe and give you peace of mind.