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4 Physical Symptoms of Emotional Changes in the Elderly

Physical illness is not always a sign of an underlying physical problem. If your elderly loved one is experiencing a physical symptom that doesn’t appear to be linked to a physical health condition, this may be because its source is actually emotional. The senior care experts at Redondo Beach Home Care Assistance have put together this list of 4 physical symptoms that may have emotional origins.

1. Digestive Problems

Possible Cause: Grief

As seniors age, they can experience the loss of many long-held relationships. With each loss, the grieving process may become more difficult. Inadequate support during your loved one’s grieving period can lead to decreased appetite, changes in diet and exercise, and chemical changes in the digestive tract. Stomach cramps, bloody stools, and diarrhea may actually be symptoms of delayed or overwhelming grief.

2. Exhaustion

Possible Cause: Depression

Social, physical, and financial changes can cause seniors to feel they have less to look forward to, which can lead to depression. Depression often results in less excitement for the future, or a loss of will to face the day, which can manifest as exhaustion. If your loved one has been listless, tired, and distant for weeks, or even months, he or she may be depressed.

3. Headaches

Possible Cause: Anxiety

Aging can be stressful for some seniors, especially those who feel forced to change their habits, diets, spending, and routines. For seniors who experience physical deterioration like sight or hearing loss, or those who lose their social support group, anxiety can mount over how to maintain their lifestyles or how other people will perceive them. Anxiety causes fluctuations of cortisol, which can cause migraines.

4. Sleeplessness

Possible Cause: Fear

We all question what the future may bring. Some elderly people feel helpless and vulnerable, which can cause fears about concrete things like home intruders or making it to the bathroom on time, and also abstract concepts like regrets or preparing for the future. Your loved one may be kept up at night because of thoughts similar to these. Sleeping problems are insidious regardless of the cause, since they can lead to a host of other physical and emotional challenges.

Many of the emotional changes your loved one faces can be alleviated through the support of a dedicated companion, and a part-time professional caregiver may be just the solution he or she needs. For hourly care Redondo Beach families believe in, turn to Home Care Assistance. In addition to providing emotional support, our caregivers can help with a wide variety of tasks around the house, including exercise, cooking, and grooming. All of our senior care services come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and you’ll never be asked to sign a long-term contract. To schedule a free consultation, call one of our Care Managers at (310) 504-0506. We hope to hear from you soon.