How to deal with mood swings in elderly individuals

  • August 26, 2020
    How to deal with mood swings in elderly individuals

    Are you stressed with your elderly parents continually having outbursts? If so, you are not alone. Research shows that 25 percent of elders suffer from a constant feeling of sadness, while 15 percent suffer from depression.

    What does it mean for an elder to have an outburst? 

    Therefore, mood swings in elderly individuals are quite common, and it can be a sign that something is wrong. 

    For example, if your loved one is always lashing out at you and you can't seem to do anything right, it may signal loss of dignity or dissatisfaction. Additionally, mood swings can result from poor health, loneliness, stress, pain and grief. 

    Unfortunately, being a caregiver to your aging parents when they are hostile and angry can strain your relationship. This is because you tend to develop negative feelings towards them and slowly start to avoid them to evade their bouts of rage. 

    The Omaha health care professionals want to help you avoid feeling this way. Here are some ways to help handle an elder’s mood swings. 

    Handling elderly anger outbursts

    Try to empathize with seniors

    First, you need to understand what your elderly parents are going through and try and empathize with them. Pain and disease, for example, can cause your loved one to experience sudden mood changes and emotional turmoil. Hence, show your aging parents you are there for them by communicating with them and listening to their problems. 

    Look at their medication

    Also, take into consideration that certain medications can cause your aging parents to have outbursts. These medications can cause them to have mood swings or even make them feel depressed. If you notice a change in mood after your parent takes the medication, contact their doctor to see if the medication can be switched. 

    Do not take outbursts personally

    When seniors are having an angry outburst, they can say some harsh words. Avoid taking their outbursts personally since it may result in resentment and anger towards your elderly parents. Instead, understand that they are overwhelmed at that moment. 

    Ask them how to minimize their anger and stress

    Lastly, find out from your loved one how you can ease their anger and minimize their suffering. Are there certain times they would prefer to be alone? Do they prefer an Omaha health care aid to help them bathe? It is important to ask your elderly parents when they are in a pleasant mood.

    Handling cursing and abusive language

    Verbal abuse and harsh language from your elderly parent can be heartbreaking, especially when children are involved. According to research, most elders that use offensive language have Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

    While these diseases have no cure, you can try to mitigate the problem by using distractions. For instance, when your loved one swears, try and divert their attention to something that calms them. Alternatively, you can tell your elderly parents about their verbal abuse and how it affects you.

    Need an Omaha home care caregiver?

    Getting help for the elderly loved one living at home is a great way to take a break from your loved ones when they are having outbursts. Contact Akkase Home Healthcare today to hire a home caregiver for your elderly parents.