That feeling of not quite understanding where your senior is emotional can be an odd one for you as a caregiver. Sometimes you have suspicions, but until your elderly family member clues you in, you’re left floundering a bit. Withdrawing is something that everyone does now and again, but if your senior is allowing herself to become isolated, she may also be close to experiencing other issues, like depression. So how can you tell?
Her Moods are More Unpredictable
Most people have fairly predictable moods. They might be angry or frustrated, but the reasons for those moods or reactions are usually obvious. When your elderly family member’s moods start to get less predictable, that can be a bit unnerving, both for her and for you. It might mean that there are other things going on, whether she realizes it or not. Start paying attention to how your senior seems to be reacting to normal situations. If her responses or her moods seem a little bit off, there might be something more going on.
Her Social Life Has Slowed Down a Lot
Your senior may have had a fairly robust social life in the past. Do you know much about it right now? It’s possible that people that she counted among her friends moved or experienced changes in their own health situation that have caused them to withdraw. If your elderly family member is no longer engaging in some of the activities that she enjoyed in the past, such as going to the local senior center for classes, she may feel out of touch with other people. Talk to her about what’s going on and who she’s spending time with these days. She might need some help in finding new activities.
You Feel More in the Dark about Her Life
If you’re feeling as if you just don’t know what’s going on in your senior’s life at all, you might be right. Sometimes older adults get a little more secretive about the fact that they’re withdrawing. They know that it’s not really a good thing for them but may not know how to get around it. It’s possible that your senior is just temporarily experiencing a bit of a rough patch emotionally. That’s perfectly normal and you might be able to help her through it if you know what’s going on.
One solution can be bringing in senior care providers to help your senior out. They can help with transportation, with tasks at home, and so much more. They might even be able to give you a bit of the insight you’re missing into why your senior’s life seems to have changed.