Ways to Get a Smile from a Grouchy Senior
iSavta | 16.02.2021
It is true that as people age, they tend to be more irritable and ill-tempered. There are a number of possible reasons why some senior adults are behaving that way. For one, senior adults may be suffering from physical pain caused by back pain, arthritis, or headaches. Second, seniors who have outlived their life-long friends suffer from the emotional pain of losing a loved one. Third, some seniors hate the idea that they do not have a say in their children’s decisions as their children follow their own will. These are just a few reasons why seniors become grouchy and dealing with it can be very challenging. As a caregiver, you must be prepared to deal with this kind of senior and find ways on how to make both of your lives easier.
Here are some tips on how to care for grouchy seniors and get their smiles back.
- Figure out the root cause.
First, in order to get a grouchy senior’s smile back, one must know what causes him to be irritable. You have to assess whether the senior wants to do something like doing the grocery or maybe he wants to eat his favorite food. If physical pain is evident, maybe giving him a dose of the prescribed pain reliever will help. Emotional pain is harder to determine thus, as a caregiver, you must dig deeper into the situation. Ask open-ended questions that will not only provide you pertinent information but will also allow the senior to vent some frustrations out. A simple “How’s your day?” can go a long way. Just make sure to sound clear when you ask an old person a question. Take note that many of them have hearing loss. Show the old adult that you care by providing his needs no matter how cranky he or she is. When the senior adult feels comfortable in sharing the story behind the emotional pain, have a heart that understands and an ear that is ready to listen. The good thing is that you can learn from his story too. Once the senior adult is able to vent his anger and frustration, just be empathetic. Keep in mind that it is better for him to be able to talk to someone and release his emotions. Rest assured that it will give him a much lighter mood just by listening and showing him that you care. Moreover, as a person ages, he is unable to do things he was able to enjoy as a young adult anymore. Also, there have been a number of technological advancements that have changed since they were children. Many of them respond to this idea with frustration and anger as they are not able to keep up with the developments. As a caregiver, you must recognize the difficulties the seniors are facing and show them compassion. Indeed, knowing what the problem is will help you as a caregiver address his needs and minimize his grouchiness.
- Offer Help
You would want to only offer help once you have an idea of what the root cause of the problem is. If the senior wants to have something cooked, then do it for them and involve them in the preparation if they could. You could always do things together if it is possible. It will make them feel better to have a sense of accompaniment. If they want to have a stroll outside, then assist them by all means as long as the weather permits. If you are unable to solve the senior’s problem, you could always ask for assistance from concerned people such as their doctors or family members.
- Have time for a shared activity.
Check the internet out for websites that focus on games and puzzles for the elderly. Boredom is one of the major reasons why an older adult may feel cranky or depressed. Involve the senior in fun activities that would satisfy his or her capacity. You may also bring them to senior centers which will let them do recreational activities that will match their capability. For sure, this activity will lift their mood up.
It could be draining to take care of a grouchy senior. But, as long as you know that you are doing a good thing for them and creating an impact on their lives, you will come to realize how self-fulfilling it is to deal with a cranky senior. Smile and stay positive!
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