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Ten warning signs to look out for in frail older people

02 January 2018


If you visit, look after or help a frail elderly person, look out for signs that they are unwell and take action to get the help they need right away – A&E is rarely the right place to go.

Many frail elderly people live independent lives at home, but sometimes changes occur which are a signal that they need medical help quickly.

Speak to a pharmacist or GP right away before it gets more serious.

If you think it’s serious but are unsure if it’s an emergency, call NHS111

Trained NHS staff will advise you and direct you to the right healthcare.

10 things to look out for:

1)    Eating and drinking less or noticeable weight loss

2)    Confusion, especially concerns about safety

3)    Low mood, especially ideas of harming themselves

4)    Fever

5)    Diarrhoea

6)    Vomiting

7)    Worsening cough, especially if breathless

8)    More frequent urinating

9)    Any new pains

10) Any bleeding not easily explained

If you spot any of the above signs, it can be a sign of significant physical or mental health problems in a frail older person.

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