When your senior starts to show mistrust of you or other people she used to trust, she might be experiencing paranoia. Paranoia can also make her respond as if she’s in some sort of danger, even if she’s perfectly safe. But what’s causing it?
Brain Diseases or Injuries.
Brain tumors, Alzheimer’s disease, and other types of brain injuries or problems can change how her brain operates. That means that the information that she takes in isn’t processed the same way that it used to be, which can result in some odd changes. Those interpretations now seem very real for her, which leads to the paranoia you’re seeing.
Some mental health issues like depression or schizophrenia show up later in life. If your senior has a family history of these types of disorders, she might have a greater chance of seeing them develop. Sometimes these disorders can develop after a traumatic situation or illness. If you suspect that your elderly family member is dealing with a psychiatric issue, she needs to be evaluated as soon as possible.
Medication Side Effects.
Medication side effects can pile on top of each other and make things worse rather than better. This can even happen with medications that your aging family member has taken for years. Make it a point to ask for a medication review every few months just to make sure that all is well with the medications that your elderly family member takes.
Lack of Oxygen.
When blood flow temporarily stops, so too does oxygen. That’s because red blood cells carry the oxygen throughout your senior’s body and to her brain. But if she has some sort of circulatory damage or injury that halts or slows down her blood flow, even temporarily, this can be a cause of paranoia.
Urinary Tract Infections.
Bladder infections look a lot different for your senior now than they did when she was younger. She may still experience pain while urinating, but she can also experience changes in her behavior and mental changes, such as paranoia. Treating the UTI often corrects the other issues, but you’ll need to learn these new symptoms so that you can spot bladder infections more quickly in the future.
Dealing with paranoia can be scary for you and for your aging adult. If the underlying issue is treatable, elder care providers can help your senior to get back on her feet again. In cases where the underlying issue is progressive, elder care providers can also help you to cope with this new normal that you’re facing.
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 elder care in Buford, GA and the surrounding areas. Call (678) 828-2195 for more information.
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