Submitted on Wednesday October 17th, 2012
It's easy to know what to do when a parent has a medical crisis: Go to the ER. But without the red flags of an emergency, it can be hard to know if there's a health problem that needs attention.
Often, there are subtle signs of trouble brewing.
- Have your parents lost weight? Unplanned weight loss may indicate a medical condition, such as depression or cancer. Or vision problems that make cooking difficult. Or dental problems that make chewing painful.
- How is their appearance? Are their clothes clean? What about bathing and grooming? Unkempt appearance may signal depression or dementia.
- Do they seem safe in their home? Are there signs of falls, such as dents in the walls? Is there a system for making sure pills are taken? Scorched pans in the kitchen? Spoiled food in the refrigerator?