At first, your senior’s life may not seem to be changing too quickly. But there are small changes that add up over time and often these changes mean that there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than you or even your senior may realize.
Your elderly family member might have trouble following conversations or you might find that it’s tough to understand what she’s talking about. This can happen for a variety of reasons, like hearing difficulties or cognitive changes. This could be happening for a lot longer than you realize, too. Your senior may finally have a difficult time hiding that conversations have been a problem for her for a while.
Repetitive behaviors, including actions and verbalizations, can also indicate trouble. Your senior may be having issues with cognitive changes or she may simply be forgetting what she’s just said or done. Your senior’s doctor can run some tests to help her to determine what’s happening and what the best course of action is going forward. Some of the repetitive actions you might notice could include small things, like fidgeting, or larger activities like pacing or repeating a series of activities.
Weight fluctuations can also be an indication that there’s more going on for your senior. She may be losing or gaining weight, but the key is that she’s not actively choosing to change her weight. This can indicate that her eating habits have changed, that she’s experiencing emotional issues like depression, or that there’s something else going on with her mental or physical health.
Something else to watch for with your senior is problems with mobility. If she’s having trouble walking or moving to a standing position from a seated position, that could point to bigger issues. Another potential problem area is balance concerns. If your elderly family member is having a tough time maintaining her balance, that could lead to a fall.
Some of these situations may be permanent changes for your senior and therefore indicate this new state of being for her. Others may be situational. Getting as much information as you can, allows you to talk to her doctor with a lot more clarity. It may also be a good idea to hire senior care providers. They can help you to spot behaviors and changes that you may not realize are important.