As your loved ones get older, the feelings of safety and joy that you feel with them tend to go away and eventually get replaced with bouts of worrying, sentimentality, and pure concern. With the clock ticking and time passing by, it becomes more and more noticeable that your elderly loved ones aren’t the same as in the past. They become much more tired, they’re not as strong as they used to be, and it seems like it’s harder to deal with them.
While there may be many different ways to tell that your parents or grandparents are becoming less youthful each day, nothing could possibly cause more worry than their own mental ability gradually slipping away over time.
At this point, the increasing signs of your elderly loved one’s mental ability taking a turn can understandably cause an overwhelming amount of worry that does not go away. Although it may seem like it’s too late to do anything about your loved one’s decreasing mental state, the first course of action is the process of assessing their mental ability.
Assessing your loved one’s mental abilities
Fortunately, acting fast and assessing your elderly loved one’s mental ability right away isn’t as difficult as you might expect. In fact, the preliminary assessment process can be done with a simple observation. If you fear that your elderly loved one’s mental ability is slipping, here are four signs that you should watch out for before seeing a specialist:
They don’t perform the same tasks that they used to do regularly
Unless they aren’t physically capable of doing certain tasks, if your loved one doesn’t perform various activities in the regular routine, then it’s a sign that they might be facing a decline in their mental ability. For example, if they forget to check their mailbox or wash the dishes, it may be a sign that you should not neglect.
They have become more withdrawn in any social situation
Another clear sign that your elderly loved one’s mental abilities aren’t as strong as before is that they’ve become increasingly withdrawn over time. Generally, cases of withdrawal in relation to mental decline linked to age can be best seen when your loved one who used to initiate and keep conversations now waits to be asked a question before they start to speak.
They frequently ask the same questions or recall stories they’ve recently told
One of the most apparent signs that your elderly loved one is experiencing a significant decline in their mental abilities is that they frequently repeat any stories they’ve told or continuously ask the same question repeatedly. If your loved ones repeat their questions or stories over and over again without having any sign of awareness that they’ve told the same story recently, then it’s clear that you’ll need to act fast and seek treatment right away.
They have withdrawn from their activities and interests
Aside from social situations, another form of withdrawal that you should watch out for when assessing their mental abilities is when they don’t enjoy activities or interests that they usually love doing. In addition to being a clear sign of declining mental ability, however, withdrawal from interests and activities is also a clear sign of depression, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s.
Should your elderly loved one start to exhibit the following signs and symptoms with gradual increases in frequency or severity, then it is best to see a health care professional and schedule a mental ability test right away.
Coming to terms with the possibility of your elderly parent or grandparent’s mental abilities gradually slipping away from them can be a reality that’s often quite difficult to swallow. However, taking action right away can make all the difference in the way you care for them.
If you’re looking for a chronic care management program for your loved one, get in touch with us to see how we can help.