September 28, 2022

Senior woman comforting concerned senior man

Mood changes in a senior loved one may be the result of an underlying health issue.

We all have bad days and good days, and we are all entitled to a bit of negative thinking or crankiness occasionally. If you’re taking care of an older adult who appears to have fallen into a pattern of ongoing complaining and negativity, however, it is worthwhile to explore whether a health problem might be the reason for mood changes in a senior loved one.

Listed below are several reasons for ongoing negativity, and how you can help.

  1. Urinary tract infections (UTIs). A UTI’s classic signs and symptoms of pain, burning, and urgency to urinate can include additional effects for older adults, including angry outbursts, confusion, irritability, along with other changes in mood or behavior. Talk to the doctor to rule out a urinary tract infection if you observe these types of uncharacteristic behaviors.
  2. Pain. A recent study revealed that participants who were enduring chronic pain reported a rise in negative moods, including fatigue, anger, tension, depression, anxiety, and much more. It is worthwhile to share any of these mood changes with the doctor, as these kinds of mood changes actually impact the effectiveness of pain management treatments.
  3. Medication side effects. A wide range of medications – including those designed to help with mood, such as antidepressants – can cause problematic mood swings. Medications for hypertension, seizures, and inflammation may cause behavioral and personality alterations in some individuals. Again, speak with the physician, and go through each of the senior’s prescriptions to find out if the problem comes from one medication or maybe the interaction of multiple meds together.
  4. Dementia. Mood and personality changes are common in dementia. It’s crucial to understand that these changes are a symptom of the physiological changes in the brain, and are not a representation of the person’s own choices and decisions. There are medicinal and natural treatment choices that can help the person feel calmer and less agitated that you may want to explore.

Negativity can arise from loneliness or boredom, too. Whatever the cause, chronic negativity can wear on a caregiver’s own sense of peace and wellbeing. It is important to be able to step away from your care role on a regular basis, and to make this time away a top priority. The senior will also benefit from the opportunity to spend time with different friends, family members, or a professional caregiver. These breaks are a healthy part of your caregiver/care receiver relationship – for both of you.

Continuum’s experts in home care in Ladue and the surrounding areas are great companions to help brighten the mood of the older adults we serve. All of our caregiving staff are fully trained, background checked, and accomplished in a wide range of in-home care services for seniors. Reach out to us at (314) 863-9912 or (636) 861-3336 to see exactly how we can help someone you love, while allowing you the time you need to rest and rejuvenate.