Health Concerns May Be the Cause of Senior Mood Changes

When looking for the cause of senior mood changes, consider if health issues could be the culprit.


We all have good days and bad days, and we are all entitled to a bit of crankiness or negative thinking every now and then. If you’re taking care of a loved one who appears to have fallen into a routine of ongoing complaining and negativity, it’s worth exploring whether a health problem might be the cause of senior mood changes.

At Golden Harmony, a leading provider of at-home senior care in Raleigh, NC, and the surrounding areas, we understand how mood changes can affect the health and wellbeing of aging adults. Here are several possibilities for ongoing negativity, and how you can help.

  1. Urinary tract infections (UTIs). A UTI’s classic symptoms of pain, burning, and urgency to urinate may include additional side effects for seniors, including angry outbursts, irritability, confusion, as well as other changes in behavior or mood. Check with the doctor to rule out a urinary tract infection if you notice these kinds of atypical behaviors.
  2. Pain. A recent study discovered that participants who are enduring chronic pain reported an increase in negative moods, including anger, depression, anxiety, tension, fatigue, and more. It is worthwhile to mention any of these mood changes with the doctor, as these kinds of mood changes actually impact the effectiveness of pain management treatments.
  3. Medication side effects. A number of medications – including those designed to help with mood, such as antidepressants – can cause troublesome mood swings. Medications for hypertension, seizures, and inflammation may cause personality and behavioral changes in some people. Again, talk with the doctor, and go through each of the older adult’s prescriptions to find out if the problem stems from one medication, or possibly the interaction of multiple medications together.
  4. Dementia. Mood and personality changes are typical in dementia. It is crucial to understand that these changes are a symptom of the physiological changes in the brain and are not a reflection of the person’s own choices and decisions. There are medicinal and natural treatment options that can help the person feel calmer and less agitated that you may desire to explore.

Negativity can arise from loneliness or boredom, too. Whatever the cause of senior mood changes, persistent negativity can wear on a caregiver’s own sense of peace and wellbeing. It’s important to be able to step away from your caregiving role on a regular basis, and to make this time away a top priority. The senior will also benefit from the chance to spend time with various friends, family members, or a professional caregiver. These breaks are a healthy component of your caregiver/care receiver relationship – for both of you.

Golden Harmony’s caregivers are excellent companions to help brighten the mood of the older adults we serve. All of our caregiving staff are fully trained, background checked, and experienced in a wide range of home care services for seniors. Email or call us at 919-426-7522 to learn exactly how we can help someone you love, while allowing you the time needed to rest and rejuvenate. We would be happy to schedule a free, in-home consultation to assess your needs to and discuss our at-home senior care in Raleigh, NC, and the surrounding areas.