When we were children, our parents provided much and nurtured us lovingly so that we can grow up to be strong independent adults. Now, while we are busy with our lives, our parents are ageing.
So, the caregiving roles begin to reverse and the children become responsible for their elderly parents’ health. While it may seem like you are doing your best to care for your parents, it is possible that you have been missing several vital health signs, particularly in your mother.
Women above 60 years have 3-5 times higher risk of developing hypothyroidism, a thyroid disorder, compared with elderly men.1 However, it may be quite difficult to diagnose the disorder due to the misleading symptoms and confusion with ageing.2
As a loving child and caregiver, it is essential that you recognise the symptoms so that you can guide your elderly mother to a clinic or hospital for hypothyroidism testing. It’s crucial for the elderly to receive treatment if they have hypothyroidism because this disorder has been associated with significant illnesses.2
Your parent’s health and vitality are important. By looking out for the signs of hypothyroidism, you can help them lead the healthiest life possible even as they continue to age.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. Hypothyroidism [Internet]. 2016. [cited 2016 Sep 14]. Available from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/endocrine/hypothyroidism/Pages/fact-sheet.aspx
- Rehman SU, Cope DW, Senseney AD, Brzezinski W. Thyroid disorders in elderly patients. South Med J. 2005 May;98(5):543-9.