Elderly Parent And Their Behaviour
Are your aging parents driving you a little worried? If so, you are not alone. Whether we are feeling loving or merely dutiful, we are probably trying to do the right thing for them. Let us admit it, it can be really hard at times, handling the mood swings of our elderly parents! The sudden changes in their mood and interest can signal more than their old age. A recent research suggests that as many as 15% of elders suffer from depression, and 25% report that they suffer from persistent feelings of sadness.
Fortunately, you can do something to make it easier to deal with the mood swings of elderly parents, what follows are some caregiver tips on how to handle their behavior changes and mood swings.
Look Out For The Warning Signs
While it is natural to experience some grief in the face of life’s major changes, depression and mood swings don’t go away by itself. It lasts for several months and needs to be treated as soon as possible. So, if you suspect that your parent is suffering from depression, then pay attention to these health indicators:
Loss of Self-Regard
One of the most obvious signs of depression in elders is when they show a lack of pride in their personal appearance. Maybe your father has stopped bathing or your mother has stopped wearing makeup.
Did your father/mother use to be a happy person? Is he/she now easily irritated by small things and cranky? Here is your tip, the sudden mood changes can suggest depression.
Is your dad/mom making excuses about why she/he can’t join you for a lunch or any occasion? Depressed elders tend to take on the hermit mentality by shutting out others and avoiding any sort of social situations.
Recent Illness or Surgery
Elders who are recovering from major illness or surgery are much more likely to develop a depressive mood, and some go on to have a depression disorder. In fact, 15% of people who are discharged from a hospital are leaving with depressive symptoms.
This is one of the greatest myths about depression, it amplifies physical pain.
How Can You Cope Up?
Rage, Yelling, Anger
Illness and age can intensify longstanding personality traits in some really unpleasant ways such as mood swings. An irritable person might become enraged, impossible to please and an impatient person demanding. Unfortunately, you will be often the target if you are taking care of your elderly parent.
What to Do
Identify the cause of anger. In most elderly individuals, behaviors are a symptom of distress. There is a large list of reasons for their unpredictable behavior. As a caregiver, make sure you are focusing on the positive and ignoring the negative.
Accept The Changes
If your parent starts in any way depending on you, it means the world has turned upside down. So, be prepared for that radically new paradigm. Because here, the old rules may not apply as well as the old methodologies and old emotions. Be prepared to work on it, accept the change and write a whole new script.
Don’t Hold Onto Any Emotional Expectation
At this time, your parent may open up to you spiritually as well as emotionally. They may express for you the love that, for a whole lot of reasons, they haven’t before. However, they might not do that too. Your parent may even more tenaciously cling to their opinions. If you care for your aging parent you might as well bond with them in a new and deeper way, which is fantastic.
However, going into caring for them hoping or even expecting for that to happen is to wade into dangerous waters. So, better no expectations, no blame!
Take it slowly
Taking care of your elderly parent is generally a marathon. Do not rush it. You both are in uncharted territory. So, let the process reveal itself to you, let whatever happens to unfold organically. Follow the things as much as you lead.
Expect Their Anger
When you start taking care of your parent, they lose the one thing they have always had in relationship to you – Yes, authority! Which certainly is one of the major causes of their mood swings. That is not going to be easy for them to give up at least really soon. Expect them, in one way or another, to lash out at you about that loss.
Ask For Their Advice
There is a great way to show their importance is by giving them respect and love. To affirm for them that they are still of true value to you. So sincerely ask them for advice about something that is going on in your life.
Give Them Their Autonomy
Offer your parent options instead of the orders as far as you can. It is important for them to continue to feel as if they are running your lives. Let them decide everything they can about their own situation and care.
Life doesn’t offer a lot more emotionally important or complex than caring for an aging parent. Well, you can try to reason, and even talk about things to throw out and give away. Or to make them feel better you can create a memory box, a place to keep all the ‘special things.’ You can make a big difference with the extreme hoarders, medication as well as family counseling in how you cope and manage.