What Are Some Mental and Emotional Signs that Your Loved One Wants Extra Help?
October 12, 2016
Caregiver in Atherton CA
Being a family caregiver can sometimes mean looking into small signals to try to figure out if they have a bigger meaning. When it comes to your loved one's mental and emotional health, these clues could let you know that something else is going on.
Your Loved One Is Experiencing Memory LossForgetting little things now and then is pretty normal, even for your elderly loved one. If you're finding that she's having significant memory loss, that could be a bigger problem. Significant memory issues can include things such as getting lost when going somewhere that she has been to many times before or being unable to follow even simple directions without prompting. These types of memory issues may mean that it's time to talk to your loved one's doctor.
Your Loved One Isn't as Socially Active as She Used to BeIt's one thing if your elderly loved one is just experiencing changing preferences. If she's made a full shift, though, from being very socially active to suddenly acting more like a hermit, there could be other issues to consider. Your loved one may feel embarrassed about a health issue or she could be feeling depressed, which might make her withdraw. It's important to figure out what might be causing the shift so that you can address the underlying issue.
Your Loved One's Moods Seem to Be All Over the PlaceWhen you talk to your loved one, does she sound flat and uninterested or are you finding that she seems to be up one minute and extremely depressed the next? These kinds of mood shifts can indicate that your loved one might be dealing with a mood disorder or even simply depression due to a health condition. Your loved one might not let you know how she's really feeling, however, especially if she's worried about your reaction.
Your Loved One Reaches out for Seemingly Vague ReasonsDo you sometimes find that your loved one calls you repeatedly with vague reasons for the call? She could be feeling lonely or scare and reaching out with small issues is her way of getting reassurance. When your loved one starts doing this, you might need to dig a little bit to find out what's causing the behavior.
If you're not sure whether your loved one is trying to tell you something, ask her outright. She may feel relieved that you're opening up the conversation.