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We all have good days and bad days, and we’re all entitled to a little negative thinking or crankiness every now and then. If you are caring for a loved one who appears to have fallen into a routine of continuous negativity and complaining, however, it’s worth exploring whether a health issue might be the reason for these senior mood changes.

Here are several reasons for persistent negativity, and how you can help.

  1. Pain. A recent research study discovered that participants who had been enduring chronic pain reported an increase in negative moods, including anger, depression, anxiety, tension, fatigue, and more. It’s worthwhile to mention any of these mood changes with the doctor, as these kinds of mood changes actually impact the effectiveness of pain management treatments.
  2. Urinary tract infections. A UTI’s classic symptoms of burning, pain, and urgency to urinate can include additional side effects for seniors, including angry outbursts, confusion, irritability, along with other changes in behavior or mood. Check with the physician to rule out a urinary tract infection if you notice these kinds of atypical behaviors.
  3. Medication side effects. A wide range of medications – including those intended to help with mood, such as antidepressants – may cause problematic mood swings. Medications for blood pressure, seizures, and inflammation may cause behavioral and personality alterations in some people. Once again, talk with the doctor and go through every one of the senior’s prescriptions to figure out if the problem stems from one medication, or possibly the interaction of multiple medications together.
  4. Dementia. Mood and personality changes are typical in dementia. It is important to recognize 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 options 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 comfort 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 chance 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.

As the leading provider of respite care in Reno, NV and nearby areas, our caregivers are great companions to help brighten the mood of the older adults we serve. All of our care staff are fully trained, background checked, and accomplished in a wide range of home care services for seniors. Contact us at (775) 507-3111 to learn exactly how we can help someone you love, while allowing you the time needed to rest and rejuvenate.

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