Have you noticed an unusual change in your elderly parent’s behavior lately recently?
If so, do not ignore it. We might consider the changes we see as a part of their normal ageing, but that may not always be the case. These changes may be indicative of something more serious, like an alteration in the functioning of the brain.
Our brain is our body’s control center. When our brain is not healthy, it can affect many different things, including memory, sensation, and even personality. Thus it is important to keep a check onto ones brain health. Especially if your loved ones are of older age, have had any traumatic brain injury, have a family history of mental illness or brain disease, have had traumatic or stressful life experiences or a history of alcohol or drug abuse.
Here are few signs to watch out for :
- Physical symptoms like regular headaches which are more severe in the morning. They will be persistent and might worsen with time.
- Nausea, dizziness and vomiting with a headache, can indicate increased pressure in the head (raised intracranial pressure).
- Sensory loss like hearing loss on only one side, disturbance of vision or double vision, sensitivity to light, numbness in feet and fingers leading to falls and imbalance while walking.
- Speech difficulties along with the loss of ability to write speak or understand words. A person may have difficulty getting the right words out (expressive dysphasia) or difficulty articulating them (dysarthia).
- Problems with short-term memory. For example, keeping track of a keys or wallet, paying bills, planning and preparing meals, remembering appointments or traveling out of the neighborhood.
- Inability to concentrate, confusion, disoriented to time, place and person.
- Sleep disturbances, drowsiness and fatigue during the day, difficulty in making decisions.
- Muscle spasm or muscle weakness on one side of the body .
- Improper emotions like suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation, anxiety, agitation, a loss of inhibition, mood swings, depression and irritability.
If your elderly loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, please don’t ignore them. See a doctor soon to determine the cause. Professional evaluation may detect a treatable condition. And even if symptoms suggest any problem, early diagnosis allows a person to get the maximum benefit from the available treatments and provides time to plan for the future.