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Managing senior mood swings

Caring for elders is rewarding yet at times stressful. Oftentimes the signs of Alzheimer’s Disease known as Dementia cause a loved one to act out by yelling, arguing, and reacting with unfound paranoia or suspicion.

This disease process is most difficult for the family members that may serve as caregivers. The caregiver is usually the one to whom the rage is directed and whom the elder directs any paranoia.

Consult the elder’s physician for any ideas of how to better manage the elder’s mood swings. The first step may be to redirect the elder’s conversation or attention to something like a news article, bird watching, the weather, etc. It is also important, though often difficult, to sit down and directly ask the elder what is bothering him/her. If neither of these options work then the case may be more severe and it is worth inquiring with the physician about options including mild sedatives. Consult this article for more tips; How to Handle Bad Behavior Problems by Elderly Parents - AgingCare.com

Since anger can increase someone’s blood pressure it is especially important for an elder with hypertension to manage his/her agitation. Paranoia may sometimes be prompted by a change in medication for the elder and this can also be discussed with the physician.

It is important to remember that the person’s actions or statements are controlled by the progression of the disease and are not reflective of the individual’s normal personality. Try not to take anything personally and absolutely take some time for yourself. It is honorable to follow someone’s wishes of not being put into a nursing home but not to the detriment of the caregiver’s health, life and mental wellness. Reach out for help today to senior resources in the Greensboro area for assistance managing your loved one’s care.

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