Elderly Agitation: All of the Important Details

Elderly Agitation

Did you know that it’s not uncommon for some elderly people to experience confusion, agitation, and even personality changes? For the loved ones of elderly people, this can be frightening. It’s even scarier for the elderly person themself. 

Elderly agitation isn’t uncommon, but what causes it? Are all instances of elderly agitation something to worry about?

We’re here to talk about it. Keep reading to learn all about elderly agitation. 

What Is Elderly Agitation? 

In short, elderly agitation can be as simple as agitation for anyone else. It’s a sudden mood change that may or may not have a specific medical trigger.

It’s normal for older people to experience agitation as they age. They may struggle with pain, mobility problems, and simply the fact that they’re no longer as strong or capable as they once were. This isn’t a cause for alarm if the elderly person in question is able to articulate this problem. 

Sometimes, however, the agitation is the result of another problem. Most commonly, the problems are terminal restlessness or dementia (or Alzheimer’s, a type of dementia). 

If this is the case, it’s important to make sure that you do everything in your power to comfort your loved one.

Terminal Restlessness: The Facts

So what is terminal restlessness (or end-state restlessness)? 

Terminal restlessness is a sudden shift in behaviors and attitudes around the end of someone’s life. Even if they’ve been otherwise healthy, terminal restlessness can still happen. 

Your loved one may struggle to pay attention. They may show signs of terminal agitation, frustration, or confusion, and they may have emotional outbursts. 

Medications, medical problems, pain, and even the anxiety that someone feels about their future death can trigger terminal restlessness. If the problem is medical, a doctor may be able to provide some relief (though there is no cure).

Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Alzheimer’s and dementia are notorious for causing mood and behavior changes amongst elderly people. Between elderly confusion at night, memory loss, mobility changes, and an inability to complete day-to-day tasks, it’s understandable that people would begin to feel agitated when they’re dealing with one of these conditions.

Dementia is a degenerative condition. There is no cure for it, but with proper care and attention, you may be able to slow its progress. It’s important that elderly people with dementia seek out help in memory care facilities. 

Sometimes, light exercise, outdoor activities, and enrichment activities can help soothe the person who’s experiencing agitation due to dementia. 

Elderly Agitation: Have You Noticed It?

If you’ve noticed elderly agitation in a loved one, it might be time to speak to a doctor about the next steps that you should take. Elderly agitation is manageable, but there’s no cure for it if it’s due to dementia, Alzheimer’s, or terminal restlessness. Your job is to keep your loved one as comfortable as possible.

Speak to a doctor today about elderly agitation.

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