Caregiver in Duluth GA
Being a family caregiver for elderly adults presents a wide variety of challenges that you must overcome in order to maintain your parent-child relationship while also ensuring that their needs are met effectively so that they can enjoy the highest quality of life possible. These challenges can become even more demanding when your aging loved ones are overly emotional. Emotional hypersensitivity makes even simple conversations and situations more difficult to handle, increasing your level of stress and anxiety and decreasing your motivation to engage in activities with your seniors.
Learning strategies for coping with overly emotional seniors can help you to manage your stress, protect your parents’ mental and emotional health, and get through situations in a calmer, healthier way. If you are dealing with seniors who tend to exhibit extreme emotional reactions to routine events, try some of these strategies to help you cope:
• Give perspective to the intention of the action. If your parents are reacting strongly to someone else’s behavior, help them to gain perspective about that person’s intentions. Guide them through determining if that person was purposely trying to be mean, spiteful, discourteous, dishonest, or otherwise hurtful. Once they recognize that the person did not purposely offend them, your parents can release the negative emotions and better prepare themselves to deal with future interactions
• Evaluate your own emotions. When it seems that your parents are being overly emotional or overreacting to a situation, take a moment to evaluate how you feel. Could you be projecting your own fear, pain, or discomfort as anger toward them? If you have difficulty expressing your emotions about a situation it is easy to feel like a person who can express his emotions is overreacting
• Determine their trigger. The most important element of coping with an overly emotional senior is determining what is actually causing the reaction. When your parents start to express strong emotions, ask them to explain to you what is happening. You may find that they are reacting to something other than what you thought, which can clarify their emotions and better equip you to resolve the situation
• Offer relief. As soon as you identify the trigger for the emotional reaction, find a resolution to that situation. Even if that means getting away from wherever you are, asking a care provider or family member to leave the home, or changing your plans, offer a resolution as quickly as possible to prevent the emotional reaction from getting out of control and possibly leading to physiological consequences
• Give them more attention. It may sound dismissive, but it is important to realize that apparent emotional hypersensitivity in elderly adults is often an expression of loneliness or feelings of isolation. They know that having a strong emotional reaction to a situation will get them more attention, so that is what they do. If your parents’ emotional sensitivity seems inconsistent or you cannot find a logical trigger for the reaction, try finding ways to pay more attention to your seniors, even hiring an additional care provider for extra social stimulation, so that they do not need to use emotional outbursts as a mechanism for getting the attention and support they desire.
The staff at Home Care Matters is available to talk with you and your family about all of your needs. Home Care Matters is a home care agency providing quality and affordable caregiver services in Duluth, GA and the surrounding areas. Call (678) 828-2195 for more information.