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Strange Behaviors and Sudden Mood Changes

What is at the source of sudden mood changes or strange behaviors? – Caroline Dawson

Behavior is a form of communication. In fact, non-verbal behavior is MOST of what we communicate. So, what could possibly explain a client or loved one’s sudden mood or behavior change?  Here are the questions to consider:

Is there a medical issue? …environmental issue? …social issue? …emotional issue?…spiritual issue?

A medical assessment comes first. Read on to find out why.

Here is a checklist to consider with your health provider:

IS THERE AN INFECTION?

I have observed:AgeWise FB Square Behaviors

– common cold virus lead to in-depth psychosis,
– urinary tract infections (UTI) causing significant confusion,  verbal and physical aggression,  sudden vulgar language and “sexually inappropriate behavior”,
– patients having mild complaints of “just feeling out of it and a little tired and achy around an old surgery site” and discover there is a deep septic infection.

DEHYDRATION:

Even mild dehydration can create complications for our aging clients and loved ones.

NEXT LOOK TO CHRONIC ILLNESSES:

  • High Blood Pressure/Low Blood Pressure
  • thyroid issues
  • diabetes
  • other chronic medical conditions

Anxiety, depression, mood swings, lethargy, feeling unfocused are all common symptoms associated with these conditions. Routine blood tests often reveal something is out of balance.

NEW MEDICATIONS/MEDICATION CHANGES/MEDICATION MONITORING:

Medications associated with the chronic conditions listed above as well as a whole host of other issues can contribute to mood and behavior changes.

Just because someone has been on X medication for years doesn’t mean it isn’t contributing to a new complication now. Also, just because X medication was introduced to relieve an issue doesn’t mean that it might not be contributing to a mood or behavior change.

PAIN:

Unacknowledged or untreated pain contributes to both behavior and mood changes. Check in. Does something hurt? What can be done to alleviate that? Is the pain new? Could it be infection related? (see above)

A NEW DIAGNOSIS:

Sometimes early symptoms of disease processes are subtle and go unnoticed until there is a more pronounced issue.

  • A fall,
  • car accident,
  • a wound that is not healing as expected,
  • sleeping significantly more or less
  • increased confusion
  • increased agitation
  • or bizarre behavior (and more)

These could all be a red flags of a new medical issue. Early detection and treatment often equals better outcomes.

Always follow up with a medical professional to rule out medical issues.

*Do not start or stop taking medications without physician oversight.*

In the case of medical issues, antibiotics, a change in medication dosage or even just a few glasses of water can in some cases make all the difference in quality of life.

AgeWise Quote behavior

If there is a medical issue, and it remains undiagnosed and/or untreated the mood and behavior change is unlikely to resolve.  Physical symptoms will worsen and continue to contribute to distress. In untreatable circumstances this may be the case – however as outlined above there are many, very treatable, common reasons for mood and behavior shifts.

If after considering medical issues there isn’t a clear answer to why your client or loved one is experiencing mood and/or behavior changes, it’s time to investigate environmental, social, emotional and spiritual shifts.

Stay tuned. I’ll discuss these in a future blog.

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“AgeWise has the gift of striking just the correct and proper balance between caring, being your client's advocate, and yet effecting change in a professional manner for the children who live at a distance.“
2015-08-30T22:40:53+00:00
“AgeWise has the gift of striking just the correct and proper balance between caring, being your client's advocate, and yet effecting change in a professional manner for the children who live at a distance.“
“AgeWise was a godsend. They are very knowledgeable and skilled in working with people with mental health issues. She did a super job holding my family member's and my hand throughout the process. She was very sensitive to managing the cost of her services and at the same time delivered excellent value. AgeWise exceeded my expectations.”
2015-08-30T22:40:16+00:00
“AgeWise was a godsend. They are very knowledgeable and skilled in working with people with mental health issues. She did a super job holding my family member's and my hand throughout the process. She was very sensitive to managing the cost of her services and at the same time delivered excellent value. AgeWise exceeded my expectations.”
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“Thanks for the input, it was great. I really appreciated what you had to share and I believe we all found it valuable. It got us going in the right direction.”
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2015-08-30T22:39:44+00:00
“… is very competent, goes the extra mile and very dependable which is hard to find.”
“Again, I am so impressed with the services you are offering and the way you impact lives. You have a calming, caring, confident, and very real spirit that makes the difficult conversations easier. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
2015-08-30T22:44:59+00:00
“Again, I am so impressed with the services you are offering and the way you impact lives. You have a calming, caring, confident, and very real spirit that makes the difficult conversations easier. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
“AgeWise staff have been a delight to work with for a number of years. They have been integral team members in caring for four senior adults in my family. They have dealt with difficult situations with intelligence and sensitivity. We know we can count on them to assess needs ranging from Alzheimer's care to end of life issues and help provide compassionate solutions. AgeWise staff have gone above and beyond to assist my family.”
2015-08-30T22:42:03+00:00
“AgeWise staff have been a delight to work with for a number of years. They have been integral team members in caring for four senior adults in my family. They have dealt with difficult situations with intelligence and sensitivity. We know we can count on them to assess needs ranging from Alzheimer's care to end of life issues and help provide compassionate solutions. AgeWise staff have gone above and beyond to assist my family.”
“I’ve worked closely with the AgeWise team in my role as private duty care manager/Apartment nurse at a retirement community. Because of the competent and compassionate service they provide, I highly recommend them to you and would personally use them if my family member needed care management.”
2015-08-30T22:42:39+00:00
“I’ve worked closely with the AgeWise team in my role as private duty care manager/Apartment nurse at a retirement community. Because of the competent and compassionate service they provide, I highly recommend them to you and would personally use them if my family member needed care management.”
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“I highly respect her for her kindness, diligence, intelligence, resourcefulness, courage, and just plain hard work. I do not know where I would be without her. I would recommend AgeWise with high honors.”