We all have bad days and good days, and we are all entitled to a little negative thinking or crankiness every once in a while. If you are caring for an older adult who seems to have fallen into a pattern of continual negativity and complaining, however, it is worth exploring whether certain senior health issues might be the root cause.
The following are several reasons for chronic negativity related to senior health issues and how you can help.
- Pain. A recent research study found that participants who had been enduring chronic pain reported an increase in negative moods, including anger, depression, anxiety, tension, fatigue, and much more. It’s important to discuss any of these mood changes with the doctor, as these types of mood changes actually impact the effectiveness of pain management treatments.
- Urinary tract infections. A UTI’s classic signs and symptoms of pain, burning, and urgency to urinate can include additional effects for older adults, including angry outbursts, irritability, confusion, as well as other modifications to behavior or mood. Check with the doctor to rule out a urinary tract infection if you observe these types of uncharacteristic behaviors.
- Medication side effects. A wide range of medications – including those designed to help with mood, such as antidepressants – may cause troublesome mood swings. Medications for hypertension, seizures, and inflammation may cause personality and behavioral alterations in some people. Again, talk with the physician and go through every one of the senior’s prescriptions to determine if the problem stems from one medication, or perhaps the interaction of multiple meds together.
- Dementia. Mood and personality changes are typical in dementia. It is important to realize that these changes are a symptom of the physiological changes in the brain, and they are not a representation of the person’s own choices and decisions. There are medicinal and natural treatment options that can help the person feel calmer and less agitated that you may want to explore.
Negativity can arise from boredom or loneliness, too. Whatever the cause, persistent negativity can wear on a caregiver’s own sense of peace and wellbeing. It is important to be able to step away from your caregiving role on a regular basis and to make this time away a top priority. The senior will also benefit from the chance to spend time with various friends, family members, or a professional caregiver. These breaks are a healthy part of your caregiver/care receiver relationship – for both of you.
Home Sweet Home In-Home Care’s experts in St. Joseph, MI senior care are great companions to help brighten the mood of the seniors we serve. We also provide care in several surrounding cities and all of our care staff are fully trained, background checked, and experienced in a wide range of home care services for seniors. Contact us to learn exactly how we can help someone you love while allowing you the time needed to rest and rejuvenate.