Is It a Common Elderly Disease or Symptoms of Emptiness?

Guest blog post by Alana Vial from Daughterly Care
For those who have elderly people in their homes or families, we cannot deny the fact that when something goes wrong or deviates from their usual activities of daily living, we usually suspect that they have a health problem. However, not all elderly people showing signs of decreased physical activity or the desire to actively participate are having any health problems or possible symptoms of a disease.

Being elderly puts one in a more sensitive emotional and psychological state. Therefore, they are not only highly prone to factors that can cause physiologic damage such as pathogens. But more importantly, they are easily drawn to a state of emotional or psychological imbalance when common factors influencing these two are tipped even the slightest.

When is it a matter of the heart?

Although heart diseases are common to the elderly, having a heart burden is perhaps one of the most detrimental situations to be in especially when elderly are involved. Try remembering the last time you got into an argument with your grandmother, aunt, or elderly neighbor over something that does not really seem to be such a big deal at all.

Perhaps you would rather be in a crucial argument with your officemate regarding money matters than the above-mentioned predicament involving elderly. However, what if being able to see things objectively meant everything in order to deal correctly with your elderly loved one?

There are a lot of factors that can help you tell when elderly members of your family are displaying emotional symptoms instead of a progressing disease process. Let us narrow them down to 5 of the most common ones.

  • Loss of appetite remedied with a simple conversation – Loss of appetite is usually related to diseases affecting the anatomy and physiology of the gastrointestinal system. However, loss of appetite that occurs due to an underlying physiologic or anatomical alteration takes time before any positive changes are obtained. Regular visits along with a simple 5-minute conversation would already be more than enough to get rid of an emotionally based loss of appetite.
  • Talking to one’s self – Doctors would usually take this as a symptom for having a psychiatric disorder. Others would even seem to feel as if their elderly are going back to their childhood having an imaginary friend to converse with.  However, assessing the situation of the elderly will help make things clearer. Make sure that he or she was provided with all the details needed to thoroughly understand whatever situation he or she is experiencing. Whether it is a medical condition or not, nothing beats providing adequate information to relieve the stress and pressures caused by the fear of the unknown.
  • Calling out a different name – Elderly individuals are usually assumed to start having symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease when they start being unfamiliar with the people around them. It becomes worse if they do not recognize even their closest relatives. However, not all cases are symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or even Dementia. If you try to make a short observation about when or where, you would notice that there are emotionally affecting factors that occurred prior to these incorrectly mentioned names. Examples of these would include but are not limited to the following:
    • Close relatives not visiting for quite some time already, especially when promised dates are missed
    • Unresolved conflicts or misunderstanding with people that they were fond of
    • A person acting similarly to someone that resembles anyone closely related to the elderly
It would be best to make a keen observation at home rather than simply relying on any professional assistance. Keep in mind that there isn’t anyone else that knows your elderly loved one but you and the rest of his or her family.

About Daughterly Care:
Daughterly Care is one of the leading privately owned agencies offering Homecare in NSW, which includes residential respite care.

Help support this ad free blog by answering several questions about caregiving here. It will take just two minutes.

Call us. We're here to help.

About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


Post a Comment