One of the hardest things for an adult to deal with can be the process of watching their beloved parent age. Granted, everyone gets older. It is a fact of life. But in some cases, if they notice their parent deteriorating, it becomes painful and depressing for the adult child (not to mention how it affects their parent). But what kinds of changes in seniors can be considered “normal” rather than a sign that dementia is at risk?
Let’s face it, one natural aspect of getting older is a change in behavior. But if your parent exhibits behavioral changes that are disconcerting or unusual, this could be a cause for concern. Let’s look at how caregivers and family members can address behavioral changes in retirement age individuals, and what some common types of changes entail.
It is not uncommon, as people age, for them to begin pinching pennies because they’re worried about their financial future. This can be a problem if prescriptions go unfilled because they are too expensive, if junk food is purchased because it’s less expensive than healthy food, etc. Consider getting a financial advisor for your loved one if they’re worried about money. Their anxiety may be relieved if a manageable budget/plan can be reached.
Aggression, in a milder form, can be referred to as irritability. There could be an underlying lifestyle or health issues such as the following:
- Chronic pain or discomfort
- Lack of social and mental stimulation
- Not enough sleep
Try to figure out an identifiable cause if your parent becomes cranky or irritable. Schedule a visit with the appropriate doctor if appropriate.
Behavior That Is Aggressive
Your loved one may simply be feeling anxious or frustrated if they show aggressive behavior. Then again, it can also be associated with dementia. Find out what’s upsetting your loved one. Communicate clearly and be empathetic.
Interests Are Lacking
Regarding life in general, you may notice your parent acting unenthusiastic or apathetic. Speak honestly about them after ruling out any mental health conditions or underlying physical ailments. Together, you may be able to reach a solution. They’re likely in need of companionship and/or mental stimulation (maybe a pet, if they are capable of caring for one).
Among older adults, depression is common, but shouldn’t be considered an inevitable aging consequence. If depression symptoms are apparent in your loved one, speak with their doctor. There could be a problem with their physical health, which has gone undiagnosed. There are numerous treatments for depression.
Issues with Memory
It’s relatively normal for older adults to experience infrequent episodes of forgetfulness and minor memory loss instances. But if these occur with increasing frequency or seem more serious, it may be time to speak with a doctor. They can help rule out conditions that could lead to dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc., through specific tests.
If Your Loved One Is Showing Behavioral Change, It may Be Time To Consider A Different Lifestyle
Behavioral changes can sometimes point to the need for the consideration of a new lifestyle for your loved one. With two different lifestyle choices in our community – both Assisted Living and our Memory Care option – we’ve got you covered.
If you’d like to talk about the sale or lease of one of our residences, please phone 228-206-0138. Any other questions can be directed to someone at 228-702-0142. We also have a convenient online form you can use to start a conversation.
See for yourself what our residences look like. Schedule a tour today.