Common Behavioral Changes in the Elderly

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Behavioral Changes in the Elderly Arlington VA

If you’re seeing changes in your elderly relative’s behavior, don’t automatically assume he or she is developing dementia or another serious condition. Family caregivers can expect to see a variety of differences in their senior loved ones’ personalities and behaviors as they grow older. To optimize your loved one’s health and happiness, you should understand the kinds of behavioral changes that are common among older adults and how to respond if you see them in your loved one.

Memory Lapses & Forgetfulness

Forgetting where you left your car keys, having difficulty finding the right word, and occasionally not being able to remember why you walked into a room are common examples of forgetfulness that are a normal part of getting older. However, since about 10 percent of seniors over 65 develop dementia, it’s important to be aware of signs that may indicate your loved one is experiencing more than just normal age-related forgetfulness. 

Symptoms of dementia include more serious and frequent memory lapses, language difficulty that causes issues with communication and reasoning, diminished visual perception, and problems with concentrating. If your loved one’s ability to function on a daily basis is starting to be affected by any of these types of problems, have him or her evaluated by a doctor immediately.

Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Arlington families can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.

Depression & Anxiety

Aging adults often experience the loss of spouses, friends, and family members, decreases in their health and physical abilities, and financial worries resulting from living on fixed incomes. These changes later in life can be difficult to handle, and some degree of anxiety and depression is normal. 

However, if your loved one is constantly anxious or depressed, he or she may need professional help. Prolonged depression and anxiety can lead to difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite, confusion, agitation, and a lack of interest in the activities of daily life, such as maintaining personal hygiene. 

If your parent is constantly depressed or anxious, he or she could become withdrawn and isolated, which can cause these issues to worsen. Ensure your loved one maintains an active social life by having family members and friends visit regularly, and encourage your parent to join clubs based on his or her interests, participate in activities at a local senior center or church, or volunteer with an organization he or she cares about.

The regular companionship of a home caregiver can help your loved one alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation. At-home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. Our caregivers encourage seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

Anger & Agitation

Retiring, experiencing decreasing health, and needing assistance to be able to continue living safely at home can cause seniors to become angry and agitated. The emotional effects of even minor chronic health conditions can add up and cause increasing frustration that leads aging adults to lash out at their loved ones. 

Aggression and anger can manifest as verbal, emotional, and even physical abuse, which can be especially difficult for a family caregiver to handle. If your loved one exhibits these behaviors, try to remain calm and respond with empathy. If your parent’s behavior is especially troubling, have him or her evaluated by a physician, and consider hiring a caregiver who can give you and your loved one a break from each other and your usual daily routine.

If you’re having difficulty caring for your loved one and handling his or her changing behavior, a professional caregiver can be a fantastic resource. Arlington home care services professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Assisting Hands Home Care. Reach out to one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (703) 988-1800.