8 Important Symptoms For The Elderly

Chest pain and troubles breathing is not a normal sign of aging. Learn about this and other important symptoms that can't be ignored.

Last update: 31 January, 2019

If you’re not paying attention, you may easily miss important symptoms that are signs that there may be something wrong with your elderly loved one.

Although it’s normal to experience “aches” when you get older, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore all the signs that your body gives you.

After all, some may be symptoms of a serious health problem. It’s very important that you consult your doctor if you’re experiencing strange or recurring symptoms, even if you believe that they’re nothing to worry about.

Waiting for them to magically go away can be very costly for your health.

Most important symptoms to look out for in the elderly

Unusual breathlessness

Chest pain is just one of many the symptoms of a heart attack. These can vary from one person to another.

If you find it hard to catch your breath after a short walk, for example, this may be an early sign that one of your arteries is partially or totally obstructed. This can lead to a heart attack.

If you notice that it’s very difficult for you to breathe you should make an appointment with your doctor. Other signs may be chest tightness or dizziness.

Sudden dizziness or problems with balance and coordination

Dizzy man

The symptoms of a stroke can be very subtle but, if you know them, you’re less likely to ignore them.

Sudden difficulty walking and a sudden loss of balance and coordination are symptoms of a stroke in both the elderly and young adults.

You should also pay attention to these signs:

  • An extreme sensation of dizziness.
  • Speech difficulties.
  • Badly pronouncing words.
  • Changes in your vision.
  • Weakness or numbness in your face, legs or arms.

These are your signs that you have to see a doctor immediately.

Vaginal bleeding after menopause

If you experience vaginal bleeding after menopause, it’s best to go to your gynecologist as soon as possible, as this isn’t normal.

Some cases of bleeding may be less severe than others. However, you should consider the possibility that the bleeding could be a symptom of a serious illness such as cancer.

You shouldn’t take it lightly. Likewise, it’s important that you do routine checks, even if you don’t experience vaginal bleeding.

Erectile dysfunction

This is a condition that’s usually very common in the elderly and is more likely to appear as they get older.

In fact, about 22% of men aged 60 are impotent. In addition to being an obvious concern when it comes to sexual satisfaction, it can also be associated with heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions.

Although its appearance is usually age-related, it can also be caused by increased levels of stress or depression.

Pay attention to these symptoms in elderly people, as it could point to more than just aging.


Woman with a stomach ache

Constipation causes you to work harder than necessary when you go to the toilet. This increases the chances of you developing hemorrhoids.

When constipation is occasional it can be considered normal. Elderly people may experience these symptoms more frequently than expected.

It can also be a sign that something is blocking your stool. This could be a tumor, polyp or some other obstruction. When constipation is chronic, this can make it too difficult to expel feces so they become hard.

This causes the bowel to fill up and then you simply can’t go to the toilet. This is called fecal impaction.

If you or your loved one experiences frequent constipation, it’s a good idea to see your doctor.

Color in your stool

This can vary according to what you consume daily. Iron supplements and anti-diarrhea medications may make  your stool darker, for example.

Any brown or green in your stool is considered normal.

However, if you notice the presence of black or bloody stool, you may be experiencing a symptom of bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract.

This can be caused by ulcers, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis and other gastrointestinal diseases that require more care in the elderly.

Abnormalities in your breasts

Although you can detect breast cancer by noticing certain lumps, there are other symptoms that are less well known:

  • Inflammation
  • Tenderness or discoloration
  • Discharge from the nipple
  • Changes in the skin tone of the breasts

Breast cancer is less common in men than in women, but this doesn’t mean they can’t suffer from this type of cancer. This is why it’s important for both men and women and who experience these symptoms to constantly check themselves.

Skin Injuries

Skin spots are on of the important symptoms for the elderly

The development of skin cancer symptoms is very common in the elderly. As you probably know, this type of cancer can appear regardless of your skin color.

Pay close attention to any sudden injury to your skin or to the appearance of moles. This is because skin injuries that are not fully healed can become cancerous.

There are a lot of ailments that could put your life at risk if you ignore them. It’s important that you constantly pay attention to the small signs your body gives you.

Remember that you should always talk to your doctor about any worries you have about any of these symptoms before drawing any conclusions.

It goes without saying that it’s important to listen to you body and see a doctor whenever necessary, as this will allow you to extend a healthy and happy life.

It might interest you...
Four Exercises to Maintain Mental Clarity in Old Age
Step To HealthRead it in Step To Health
Four Exercises to Maintain Mental Clarity in Old Age

They can be a bit hard to start off with, but doing mental exercises to maintain mental clarity is a great way to keep your brain young and healthy...