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5 Tips for Discouraging Grouchiness in the Elderly

By Jeff Hill, 9:00 am on February 8, 2016

When your senior loved one has an irritable moment, it is important to avoid taking it personally. He or she may be experiencing pain, frustration, or other challenges that can be addressed by using these 5 strategies.

1. Find Out If the Daily Routine Has Been Disrupted

Many seniors thrive on routines, and it is possible a minor or major change has thrown off your loved one’s day. Do some detective work by asking questions about his or her daily routine. You may discover your loved one has skipped a meal, started a new medication, or is upset because he or she misses a spouse or friend. Once your loved one’s needs have been addressed, he or she is more likely to return to normal and be happier.

2. Try Changing the Topic

It is normal for seniors and the family members providing them with elder care in Phoenix to disagree on certain subjects, but trying to force an issue will only increase the negativity. If your loved one is being stubborn, try introducing a new, completely unrelated topic of conversation. Stick to pleasant topics, such as your loved one’s favorite hobby, to ensure the talk remains positive.

3. Change Your Loved One’s Environment

Boredom can often lead to crankiness, and it is possible your loved one just needs a temporary change of scenery. Consider going on an outing to your loved one’s favorite place in the community, or you could rearrange some of the furniture in his or her living room. Enjoying a new view could help shift your loved one’s perspective.

4. Bring in a New Face

As much as your loved one may enjoy your company, it is possible you have spent too much time together lately. Invite a family member over to spend some time with him or her while you take a break or hire a Phoenix hourly caregiver to provide respite so you can take care of other tasks in your life. The extra socialization will likely boost your loved one’s mood, and the break will help you have more patience when you return. 

5. Suggest a Soothing Activity

Soft background music is often played in waiting rooms because it helps soothe anxious moods. Take a cue from doctors and try playing one of your loved one’s favorite tunes if he or she is feeling cranky. A gentle hand massage, listening to an audiobook, and looking at favorite photos are a few more relaxing activities that can ease a cantankerous mood.

Having a compassionate caregiver to help around the house can also positively affect your loved one’s mood. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers can assist with exercise to increase your loved one’s endorphin production or even act as a social companion to provide stimulating conversations. We also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, stroke, and Parkinson’s care Phoenix seniors can rely on. For more information on our senior care services, please call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 602.388.1085.