A majority of families go through challenging times when a family develops a behavior disorder. Stress, pain, and loneliness can cause bizarre behavior in the elderly. Sometimes acting weird can be a sign of illnesses like dementia and paranoia.
The symptoms may vary between persons depending on the course of the behavior change. However, it is eminent that the old self disappears, and a new personality develops. Responding to this sudden change can sometimes be overwhelming and frustrating to family members and caregivers.
Is It Normal for Senior Citizens to Act Weird?
Bizarre behavior is not a symptom of old age; neither does it occur in every senior. However, older people who show crankiness and abnormal acts may be experiencing other serious issues. It is an error to assume that your grandmother’s weird acts are a normal aging process.
However, spooky behavior, like refusing to take a bath or combing hair, is expected. Senior citizens may not detect body smell because senses dull as a person grows older. Even so, a senior may not want to be pressured into taking birth or changing clothes. This can be weird to you, but it may just be a feeling of being in charge to a senior citizen.
Does Acting Weird Gets Worse with Age?
Naturally, the majority of seniors do not change their behavior easily. The older a person becomes, the more difficult it becomes to adapt to new behavior or environment. This is due to the reduced plasticity of an individual’s nervous system.
Depending on the course of the behavior change, the situation may or not get worse with age. In the case of dementia, the symptoms get worse over time. The elderly population with dementia can exhibit weird behavior. This is because a person with this condition loses neurons in a part of the brain. Even so, dementia progresses rapidly in some people but could take years to reach advanced stages in others.
What to Expect if Your Grandma Acts Weird
Behavior change in previously healthy individuals is a tricky situation and can be frustrating for a family. Sometimes the causes can be due to genetic, environmental, or other medical conditions.
Bizarre behavior can be a symptom of paranoia. Some of the mental symptoms of paranoia become worse as a person gets older. It is common for people with this condition to say illogical things. Your grandma’s thoughts or speech can get worse if the disorder is linked to paranoia.
Your grandma may also start seeing things that are not visible to anyone else. People with paranoia can be hypervigilance. Your grandma may want to shut windows and doors and get locked up for fear of being attacked.
Dealing with a Senior Citizen’s Weird Behavior
Stay calm and think of your grandma’s weird act as a form of communication. People with behavior disorders can sometimes exhibit acts that are strange and frightening. This can be devastating and frustrating for you. However, people with dementia act out in irritating ways to communicate pain, fear, or confusion.
Avoid talking your grandma out of a delusion. Acknowledging your grandma’s fears is a practical coping mechanism for people with dementia. Soothingly reassure your grandma that you will take care of the situation. Not doing so can make the situation worse.
Creating a predictable routine can help a person with a behavior disorder to feel comfortable. Clearly defined simple procedures can help ease your grandma’s discomfort.
When Can You See a Doctor if Your Grandma Acts Weird?
Seniors who act out of the normal can sometimes show violent behavior. Consulting a doctor is necessary if your grandma exhibits bizarre behavior that is risky. Actions that may expose your grandma or other people to danger may be a sign of an underlying issue.
Besides acting weird, your grandma can show other sudden changes. Infection or pain can cause a person with dementia to show unexpected behavior change. It is wise to consider an evaluation by an expert to determine the cause of this change.
Acting weird among seniors may be due to various reasons. Illnesses like dementia and paranoia are some of the causes your grandma may act weird. Other factors like genetics, lifestyle, and certain medications can also affect a person’s behavior.
Sometimes the behavior change may get worse rapidly, or it could take years. However, it is best to get a proper evaluation from an expert to determine the course of your grandma’s bizarre behavior.