Symptoms that caregivers of elderly should never ignore

The older a person gets, the aches and pains of aging tend to occur more frequently. But how do you know if certain symptoms are more serious than others? As a caregiver, it can be difficult to tell whether your elderly loved one has a headache brought on by muscle tension or something much more severe, such as a TIA.

The AARP put together a list of symptoms you should never ignore, adapted below. The article notes that symptoms which develop unexpectedly or gives a person a bad gut feeling are cause for alarm.

    • A sudden, intense headache could signal a ruptured aneurysm, cardiac cephalgia, meningitis or temporal arteritis.



    • Unexplained weight loss is common in 36 percent of cancers in older people, according to the article. Other conditions associated with weight loss include diabetes, IBS, celiac disease and endoctrine disorders.


    • Unusual bleeding are often associated with ulcers, colon cancer, hemorrhoids and bladder infections.


    • High or persistent fever may indicate a urinary tract infection, pneumonia, endocarditis or a viral infection.


    • Shortness of breath is the primary symptom of pulmonary embolisms. It’s also often associated with asthma, bronchitis or pneumonia.


    • Sudden confusion is often tied to interactions between medicine and drugs/alcohol. More severely, it can indicate a brain tumor or onset of a stroke.


    • Swelling in the legs is tied to many conditions, but heart failure is the one that concerns doctors the most.


    • Sudden or severe abdominal pain can signal an aortic aneurysm, perforated viscus, intestinal ischemia and many other conditions.


Physicians Choice Private Duty  currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa ” provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the available care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. All Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or social workers with no long-term contracts. Contact us today for help with your senior care needs.

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