What to Do If Your Elderly Parents Have a Negative Attitude

What to Do If Your Elderly Parents Have a Negative Attitude

What to Do If Your Elderly Parents Have a Negative Attitude

Some seniors may have displayed a tendency towards negativity throughout their lives. This outlook can be part of their longstanding personality. However, if adult children notice a sudden shift towards a more negative personality, it warrants immediate attention and concern. This newly developed negative attitude could stem from various causes that are often treatable, such as depression, anxiety, medication side effects, or other underlying health issues that may have gone undiagnosed.

Aging introduces a host of frustrations and challenges. Mental and physical impairments, such as diminished mobility, chronic pain, and cognitive decline, can transform a once-cheerful parent into a chronic complainer or someone who appears perpetually dissatisfied. This change can be distressing for both the elderly individual and their family members.

When caring for an elderly parent who exhibits constant negativity, adult children and caregivers should consider these challenges and adjust their care approach accordingly. It is crucial to maintain open lines of communication, provide emotional support, and seek professional medical advice if necessary. By understanding the root causes of their negativity, caregivers can better address their needs and improve their overall quality of life. Additionally, integrating activities that bring joy, ensuring a balanced diet, and fostering social connections can also help in alleviating some of the negativity and enhancing the well-being of elderly parents.

1. Prevent Social Isolation

Isolation and loneliness often plague seniors’ lives, leading to unhappiness and a continual need to express negativity. Depression is also closely linked with isolation. Symptoms of depression include mood swings, agitation, sadness, withdrawal, and a loss of interest in activities.

Adult children who notice that an elderly parent feels lonely or isolated should take steps to remedy the problem. Spending more time with the loved one or hiring a companion caregiver are immensely beneficial to the senior’s emotional well-being and can promote positive feelings.

Companion caregivers understand how to build fulfilling relationships with elderly care recipients, thus warding off isolation and loneliness. These professionals engage in pleasant conversations with the elderly, play mentally stimulating games, and support them during exercise, like walks in the park.

Companion caregivers provide transportation to senior centers, too, where the elderly have the opportunity to socialize with like-minded peers. If the aging parent volunteers, a caregiver can provide safe transportation. A robust social life can help replace negativity with positive feelings.

2. Enlist Dementia Care

Progressive brain conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, can cause behavior and personality changes. Seniors with memory loss may display symptoms, such as apathy, withdrawal, moodiness, and anxiety. Dementia patients who lose the ability to communicate become frustrated and anxious.

Family members may fail to notice cognitive problems early on. But when cognitive decline sets in and the parent’s personality suddenly shifts, the senior should undergo a full neurological and physical evaluation. Remember that the frustrations associated with memory lapses can spur bouts of negativity.

Adult children are hardly alone in caring for a parent struggling with dementia. Memory care providers are essential to ensuring that the elderly remain safe in their home. These trained professionals understand how to calm an agitated senior and can return a sense of well-being to the dementia patient.

Routine is also helpful in assuaging the dementia patient. A dementia caregiver includes structure into each day, so that the senior knows what to expect. Adjustments like these can reduce the fear and anxiety brought on by dementia. As a result of comfort and familiarity, negativity is reduced.

Prescription medications, too, are now available to help minimize behavioral and personality changes due to dementia. Seniors may benefit from anti-anxiety or antipsychotic medicines. Keep in mind that nonpharmaceutical options should be considered as a first response to behavioral issues.

3. Ease Boredom

Most elderly parents have retired from the workforce. With excess time on their hands and a lack of purpose, seniors may start to vent their frustrations. When age-related changes affect elderly parents’ independence and they begin to focus on negative life aspects, pessimism is the outcome.

Family members can remedy boredom in countless ways. The local senior center is filled with opportunities to stay socially active and engaged. Adult children might consider adult day care, where structured games, therapies, and activities are offered in a safe environment during the day.

Encouraging the elderly parent to pursue craftwork or a hobby are ideal means to easing boredom. If grandchildren live too far away, professional caregivers can join the senior in assembling scrapbooks, creating photo collages, or making jewelry. Gifting the craftwork fulfills the senior.

4. Alleviate Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can cause hostility, anger, depression and anxiety in older people. An aging parent who constantly complains may have underlying pain that he is unable or unwilling to express. Arthritic pain, for instance, causes discomfort and may result in limping, moving more slowly, or walking less.

When signs of pain become apparent, adult children are urged to seek medical care and pain relief for the elderly parent. The doctor will conduct a thorough exam and check for changes in health. Once chronic pain is relieved, the negative mood states are likely to improve.

5. Check Medications

Certain drugs can cause behavioral changes and lead to uncharacteristic negativity. Anti-seizure medications, statins, anti-inflammatories, and blood pressure drugs have been known to adversely affect personality. These changes should be reported to the doctor to see if the drugs are still appropriate.

Drug interactions, too, can affect a senior’s disposition in a negative way. Adult children are advised to consult with the parent’s doctor or pharmacist when the senior takes multiple medications. The physician or pharmacist will double check to ensure the drug combination is safe.

6. Check for Infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are known to cause an eruption of atypical behavioral symptoms, including confusion, irritability, and angry outbursts. When a parent suddenly displays these symptoms, an infection may be present. Immediate medical care is required to avoid complications.

7. Help Them Feel Appreciated

As people grow older, they may feel less appreciated as they see family and friends less and may also experience the loss of their spouse and friends. If seniors do not see their family as often as they would like, they may harbor resentment towards their relatives and blame them for their loneliness. These feelings of resentment can contribute to negative behavior.

You should not only take the time to visit with your loved ones often, but also express your appreciation for them. Let your elderly parents know how much you appreciate what they have done for you throughout your life and remind them that they are still special people in your life. Taking them on regular outings and engaging with them in their favorite activities will also help them feel appreciated.

8. Do Not Blame Yourself

It is common for adult children to interpret negativity from their elderly parents as being mean or hostile. This causes many to take their negativity personally or feel like they are responsible for the negative feelings of their parents.

However, the negative feelings of your elderly loved ones are not your fault, and they are not a reflection on you. There could be a number of reasons why your loved ones may have a negative attitude and it likely does not have to do with you. Remember to not take your senior parent’s negative attitude personally and do the best you can to help combat their negative feelings.

Elderly Home Care from Assisting Hands

Senior Home Care Dallas Texas

When a loved one’s outlook becomes negative, there may be an underlying cause that needs to be addressed. Family members should consider any potential reasons for sudden or chronic negativity, as it can often be a sign of deeper issues such as loneliness, depression, or unmet daily needs. In-home support from Assisting Hands Home Care can effectively address these causes, providing personalized care and attention that can significantly improve a senior’s quality of life.

Assisting Hands Home Care provides a wide range of elder care services, including respite care, companion care, post-operative care, and live-in care. Although our services are non-medical, they are comprehensive and cater to the daily needs of seniors at various levels of functioning. Our experienced caregivers are dedicated to ensuring the well-being and comfort of your loved ones.

Our caregivers assist with personal hygiene tasks such as grooming, dressing, bathing, and toileting, ensuring that seniors maintain their dignity and cleanliness. We also provide transportation to doctor’s appointments or senior centers, allowing seniors to stay connected with their healthcare providers and social circles. Grocery shopping and meal preparation are handled with care, ensuring that seniors receive nutritious meals. Medication reminders help seniors stay on top of their health regimes, while light housekeeping keeps their living spaces clean and safe. Perhaps most importantly, our caregivers offer companion care, which greatly alleviates seniors’ boredom, loneliness, and isolation, enriching their lives with meaningful interactions and emotional support.

Your parents deserve the most compassionate in-home support. Assisting Hands Home Care is dedicated to ensuring our care recipients live with dignity and as much independence as possible. Our home care agency is committed to serving seniors living in Coppell, TX | Dallas, TX | Highland Park, TX | Richardson, TX | University Park, TX and the surrounding communities. Call us at (214) 760-6944 to learn more.