Cognitive changes can be unnerving to witness. You’re likely used to seeing your elderly family member function well, and to suddenly see her using questionable judgment or forgetting things that she’s known all her life can be really scary. It’s often scary for her, too. The first steps in finding answers involve looking more closely at what’s happening with your senior’s health and lifestyle.
Pay Attention to Possible Concerns
There are a lot of possible causes for cognitive changes in older adults. One that is often overlooked at first is urinary tract infections. In older adults, the common symptoms of a UTI aren’t present, but confusion and cognitive changes are. Look also at what and how often your senior is eating, because if she’s not getting enough nutrition, her cognition suffers. Sleep is another concern that can play into these changes. These may all seem like small issues, but they have big impacts.
See What Her Doctor Can Find
Your senior’s doctor can help you to look even deeper. There are plenty of medical causes for cognitive changes, ranging from medication side effects to side effects from depression and even the early stages of dementia. It’s vital to determine as much as you can about what your senior is facing so that you can help her to cope. There may be simpler explanations than you and your elderly family member are worried you’ll hear about.
Put Together a Plan and Follow It
Putting together a plan now might be easier because you’ve got a lot more information. Your senior’s care plan may start out with some solutions, but that doesn’t mean it’s all written in stone. See what works as you follow the care plan and work with her doctor about any other medical concerns. There’s a lot that you may be managing while you’re gathering information and testing out options.
Line up Some Extra Help Now
Don’t wait to get extra help for yourself and your senior. The sooner that you bring in a caregiver, the better for everyone involved. Some of the concerns you’ve noticed may be temporary, but if they do turn out to be more permanent in nature you’ll already have some assistance working toward making your senior as safe and as comfortable as possible.
Monitoring and adjusting along the way will help you to make sure that you’re able to keep getting her the help that she needs both medically and on a practical level.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE IS CONSIDERING CAREGIVERS IN CLAYTON, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.