Comfort Keepers provides award-winning in-home care for seniors and other adults in need of assistance with daily activities. Our highly trained and dedicated caregivers can help your loved one stay in their home for as long as safely possible—a dream come true for many elders.
What To Do When Your Aging Loved One’s Personality Changes
Personality Changes in Seniors | There are many reasons a senior’s personality may change. As we age, people experience numerous physical, emotional, and psychological challenges, and each person handles these experiences differently. One of the common results of various stressors in a person’s life is a change in personality. For example, a person who was always calm and reserved may become angry and outspoken, or a person who was always gregarious may become withdrawn.
Personality changes are not always negative or bad, but they do typically indicate that something has changed in a senior’s life. Therefore, it is important that a senior caregiver take note of any personality changes in case there is an underlying medical condition causing it.
Three of the more common reasons behind personality changes in seniors:
The death of a spouse or significant other. Many seniors have spent the majority of their life with a person who “completed” them. When their other half passes on, many seniors do not know how to function or cope with the world in which they are now left alone. Many seniors will require the help of a senior caregiver if their loved one who passed supported them in daily living activities or took care of many of life’s tasks. In addition to requiring this physical support, they may also need help coping with their emotions. Emotions range from anger, resentment, and hostility to depression, sadness, and isolation. There seems to be little connection between a person’s personality prior to such a significant loss and the emotions displayed after. In loss, personality changes are often profound.
Medication. Most seniors over the age of 65 are on at least five to ten different medications. Many times these medications can impact a person’s hormones, chemical balance, and brain functions. It is no wonder that changes in personality are common side effects of many common medications. Senior caregivers should watch for sudden personality changes after new medications are added and when medications are stopped. Should a personality change occur unexpectedly, checking to see if the senior has been taking all of their medication as prescribed is a good place to start. For example, a senior may have run out of a medication and not had it refilled.
Dementia, Alzheimer’s, TBI, and other brain-related diseases or injuries. Any sickness, injury, or disease can cause significant changes in a senior’s personality, but those ailments that directly impact the brain are known for causing such shifts. As different areas of the brain die, the controls and filters that were there are gone as well. This means that if a brain center that blocked hostility is damaged or lost, a person may find themselves getting frequently angry. Without impulse control, a person may become quite aggressive, sexual, hyper-emotional, and so forth.
Comfort Keepers® Calgary Can Help with In Home Care for Seniors
If you are concerned about the safety of your aging loved ones, especially in regard to fire, we can help. While it’s important to rely on the expertise of licensed professionals for certain precautions, we can provide home safety assessments and ensure your loved ones’ environment is safe.