The key to dealing with a senior who is experiencing paranoia is that you can’t ignore the situation. Facing everything head on is going to give you far better results than hoping that it will all go away. Whether she’s seeing things that aren’t there or imagining that everyone is out to get her, there are some concrete steps you need to take on your side of things.
Don’t Dismiss What You’re Observing
When you’re seeing new behaviors from your senior, it’s easy to think it might just be a bad day. But if you dismiss what you’re observing, you might wait too long to look a little bit deeper. Any time that you’re noticing something that makes you question what could be going on with your elderly family member pay attention to those details.
Validate Your Senior, but Be Alert for Potential Causes
Validation is about reassuring your elderly family member that you hear her, you’re there for her, and that you love her. If you’re arguing with her about the fact that she’s imagining something, that might make the situation worse. Use validation and continue to look for what could be behind this new behavior.
Keep Records of What’s Happening
Take notes, too. You might think that you’ll remember everything that happens and exactly when it occurred, but those kinds of details can slip away from you. Write down dates, times, and all of the details that you can about each interaction. The more information that you have the better. This is going to help your senior’s doctor to get to a solution much more quickly.
This Is Exhausting, so Take Care of You
As upset as your senior is, you’re likely to be upset as well. This is also physically exhausting for you. In order to be as helpful a caregiver as you want to be, you need to take care of yourself. Take time away from the paranoia so that you’re not overwhelmed by it all day, every day. Elderly care providers can take over when you’re taking time for yourself so that you know she’s in good hands. This gives you a chance to focus on what you need to do in order to be able to come back.
Paranoia may well be treatable for your aging adult, so don’t despair just yet. Keep track of what’s happening and work closely with her doctor to try different solutions. If this is something that will be more of a long-term situation for your senior you can prepare for that.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Dulles, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.
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