21 Aug 2014
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Be Aware of the Health Risks for Aging Adults

    Sometimes adult caregiver children to parents find it difficult to think of their aging parents as
having serious health issues.  Unfortunately as adults age, there are emerging health issues that
can occur including dementia/ Alzheimer’s Disease,  depression and even malnutrition. And,
these don’t suddenly appear; they take time. But if you are the caregiver who may not have been
home since the last birthday or holiday, be prepared to see some surprising changes in your mom
or dad when you are home this month.
     Although only one percent of adults between 50 and 64 years of age suffer from some sort of
dementia-Alzheimer’s Disease is just one- by the time they reach the age of 80 to 84, that
prevalence is approximately 12 percent. Once they reach 90 years of age, the percentage doubles.
The number of people with Alzheimer’s Disease is rapidly growing, and Alzheimer’s Disease is
the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
    Besides the various types of dementia, another common, but serious, medical condition is
depression. One in five adults over age 65 suffers at some point with clinical depression at some
point. There are numerous reasons for this such as serious physical problems, the death of friends
or a growing awareness that they are entering the twilight years of their life.
    “Malnutrition can be even higher than the depression statistic with one group of researchers
pegging the prevalence at nearly 23 percent across 12 developed countries,” says Charlotte
Bishop master of science (MS), geriatric care manager (GCM)and Licensed Clinical Professional
Counselor (LCPC), president of Creative Care Management a Chicago geriatric care services
http://www.creativecaremanagement.com  company. They are the eyes and ears when you the
caregiver can’t be there.

   So, if you are the adult caregiver in your family home this holiday season, look for the
following potential signs of a problem.
Dementia -
   ☐ Don’t pry, but check your loved one’s refrigerator to see if it’s well stocked or as decay or
   ☐ Notice their overall hygiene to see if they’re bathing and have clean clothes.
   ☐ If your loved one has a pet, check to see if it’s being fed and is groomed. The pet may even
be taken care of better than them.
   ☐ Everybody misplaces their keys, but has mom or dad left them in the refrigerator?

Depression -
    ☐ Look for signs of a loss of appetite, and that includes not eating properly - is mom or dad
just eating dessert?
   ☐ Talk to your loved one about their sleeping patterns. Is your loved one unable to fall asleep at
night or has difficulty sleeping through the night?
    ☐ Find out if your loved one is staying active and involved in activities, hobbies or clubs.

Malnutrition -
   ☐ An under stocked refrigerator may indicate there is no money for food, or a lack of attention
to self-care that may speak of depression.
   ☐ Share a few meals with your loved one. Do they show See if a lack of appetite. This could be
due to depression or maybe even medications that may be suppressing their appetite.
   ☐ Pay attention to a pronounced weight loss, clothes that appear to be looser around the neck or
waistband then they have been.
   ☐ Be alert to bruises or wounds that aren’t healing properly. Check for bad breath, which may
be caused by tooth and gum decay or pain with their teeth.
    “For some people, it’s difficult seeing their loved one age,” says Steven R. Steiber vice
president, Ph.D.  with Creative Care Management. “It’s unsettling to realize that one’s loved one
may be in mental or physical distress and not even be aware of it.”
    If you are seeking answers, advocacy or alternatives for your loved one, or if you would like to
know more about Creative Care Management, please contact Dr. Steven Steiber
sseiber@creativecaremanagement.com , visit website, www.CreativeCareManagement.com or
call: 847-869-5118, Ext. 511.

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