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Have you ever noticed your parents getting older by the day? It is no longer salt and pepper hair – but all white hair cap the head of your parents. Watching them in this condition is really hard to accept. Is it because we equate their getting old with our own aging process? Maybe not – we just dread the day when they would finally leave us.

There are many reasons why children could hardly delve on the issue of aging parents. We want daddy and mommy always active, healthy and mobile. Their physical deterioration, the debilitating health – all these hurt. We could hardly accept that their vision is too blurred to recognize us, they struggle with their hearing and what is more painful – they could not even remember our names. As we encounter these changes, health issues crop up.

What are the salient changes children should be alert regarding their aging parents.

Poor eyesight or loss of vision

Deteriorating eyesight and ultimate loss of vision is one of the first signs of old age. If they used to wear eyeglasses, the children should have their vision checked and refracted regularly. Inappropriate eyeglasses can do more harm than good to the worsening vision of dear mom and dad. Proper lighting in the house, especially the rooms they occupy, is one step to help them see better.

Loss of hearing

Would it be time for them to wear their hearing aid? Hearing loss is also common to people in their golden years. This could be very dangerous especially when the parents are still mobile and have the tendency to go out of the house and cross the street. This would also lead to misunderstanding between the oldies and the people around them. In case of weakening of the sense of hearing, try to speak slowly with the elderly. As much as possible you have to tone down the volume and pitch of your voice. When speaking to them, be sure you are facing them so that if they could not hear you adequately, they have a chance to lip read. Most of all, bring them to the ear specialist for check-up and monitoring.

Memory Loss

First, they would experience occasional forgetfulness. Be alert and check if they are already suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This is very frustrating because when afflicted with this illness, they might not even recognize you. To keep their mind going and their brain functioning, give them activities to get busy with. Let them read, let them talk to you and relate stories.

Loss of Balance

The elderly are prone to risk of falling and slipping. This is very dangerous.
There are instances that the fracture caused by a simple slipping can make them immobile for the rest of their last years. If their sense of balance cannot be remedied, it is best to have them use a cane, a walker or even a wheel chair, if warranted. Be sure to eliminate in your house tripping hazards – loose rugs, wires and extension cords. Technology has given us wireless so your cords and cables can be junked. Provide non-slip mats in the bathroom, patio or any slippery floors.

When your parents had reached this stage, it is best to hire a home health care professional for her – that is if they are left alone. These professionals can give them proper care in your absence.

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Last Modified October 21, 2010 @ 1:51 am
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