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How to deal with declining health

Young woman hugging an elderly woman - dealing with your loved one’s declining health

Dealing with another’s declining health

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all stay healthy into old age?
Scientists are working on that. But until they solve it, time will keep taking its toll on our bodies and minds.
 
You might have noticed signs of ageing and declining health in someone you care for. It’s important to understand those symptoms. And keep an eye on them. Then you can take action to preserve your loved one’s health as much as possible. 
Neglected appearance

It’s important to pay attention to how your loved one looks. Have they stopped taking care of themselves? For example, are they not combing their hair or washing regularly? Talk with them about whatever change you’ve noticed. Try to find a reason for it. If it worries you, discuss it with their doctor.

Memory loss

We can all be forgetful, especially as we get older. But if the person you care for becomes particularly forgetful, it’s important to pay attention. Are they, for example, struggling to remember common words? Or getting lost in a familiar environment. Maybe they’re unable to follow directions. These things should be easy to spot, since you probably know her or him well.

 
If the symptoms worry you, encourage the one you care for to see their doctor.

Losing weight

Have they lost a lot of weight? Are they looking too thin? This could be due to any of a number of reasons. Watch for other related symptoms. For example, is she/he often gloomy? If they’re down, they might not feel like cooking. Or they might have lost their appetite and simply aren’t eating enough. Have they lost their sense of taste or smell? That can also affect their appetite.

 
If you’re concerned about your loved one’s weight loss, arrange for them to have a health check.

Bad mood

It’s natural for older people to be grumpy at times. But if they’re constantly in a bad mood, it’s important to find out why. If the person you care for is constantly unhappy, talk to them. Ask what’s bothering them. Then you can find out quickly whether they need to see a therapist.

 
You might have noticed signs of ageing and declining health in someone you care for. It’s important to understand those symptoms. And keep an eye on them. Then you can take action to preserve your loved one’s health as much as possible.

Skin breakdown

If your loved one is incontinent, keep an eye on their skin’s health. Urine can react with skin and irritate it, causing it to break down. Also, the skin of older adults is fragile and more susceptible to irritations. That increases the likelihood of it becoming damaged.

 
The best solution for skin breakdown is to keep it clean. Ideally, use a gentle cleanser, such as one from the TENA skin care range – it includes a wash cream that restores and protects fragile, elderly skin.  Afterwards, apply a mild lotion or anti-irritant/-itch/rash cream.

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