Let's face it, as the body ages, certain things just don't work like they used. You're not quite as energetic, you can't walk as far, or maybe you even have trouble remembering certain things. Most of these things are completely normal and while there are steps you can take to prolong your youth, aging is inevitable. Conversely, aging also bring on chronic disease or other declining health signs that shouldn't be ignored. Please take some time to read through the following and look for the signs within your family or yourself.
1. Sudden Weight Loss
While losing weight is typically a blessing, the sudden loss of weight is a tell-tale sign that something isn't quite right with the body. An unprompted drop in weight could be caused by various conditions including an overactive thyroid, depression, liver disease, diabetes, cancer, or malabsorption disorders. Please consult a doctor if you have lost more than 10% of your weight, it can be a signal for something wrong.
2. Sudden Speech, Balance, or Coordination Issues
Of course the body isn't as active as it used to be, but if you are having trouble with walking or talking, it could be a sign of a stroke. If you are experiencing dizziness, loss of coordination, weakness/numbness, changes in your vision, or slurring of your words, contact your physician immediately.
3. A Sore on Your Skin that Doesn't Heal
While most skin cancer develops on areas of the skin that are typically exposed to the sun (face, scalp, arms/legs, etc.), cancer can also appear on areas seldom exposed. Anyone can get skin cancer and typically it surfaces in the older years. If you see any irregularities in your skin you should be on watch. Schedule regular screening with your doctor to detect early signs of skin cancer.
A common problem within the older adult community is loneliness and depression. As we face aging, it is easy to fall into depression, but with the connection of family or a community can help alleviate loneliness and prevent depression. Signs to look for are sadness, decrease in enjoyment of familiar activities, excessive sleeping or loss of sleep, sadness, fatigue, or anxiety. Emotional changes can happen at any point in our life, so spot them within yourself or your family members and help heal the problem.
Published on September 30, 2015.