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Janice Swanner

Janice Swanner, BSN, CHPN

Operational Director
North Scottsdale Assisted Living North Scottsdale
Central Scottsdale Assisted Living Scottsdale Ranch
Phoenix Assisted Living 19th Pl. #1
Phoenix Assisted Living 19th Pl. #2
(480) 605-4002

Brian Newton

Assistant Manager of Operations

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What Are ‘Behavioral Issues’ for a Senior at Assisted Living and Is There Anything You Can Do About It?

Assisted Living Phoenix, AZ: Behavioral Issues

Even though assisted living is arguably the best elder care choice a person in their 70s or 80s can make, especially if they have difficulty taking care of themselves at home or simply don’t want to bother with general maintenance and upkeep of a house, it’s not always easy. It’s not for everyone.

There may be times when a person in their 70s, for example, begins acting out. They might have moved in reluctantly, perhaps even grudgingly because they felt there were no other options. They may have felt pressured by their adult children, their spouse, or even their friends.

They might’ve heard about how great it is, how relaxed it will be, and how many wonderful activities there are to participate in. They may have even been excited about it themselves, but for one reason or another, once they moved in the behavioral issues started.

 

What could some behavioral issues for seniors be?

They could be belligerent toward staff. They may be hostile to other residents. They might take a chair or table, driving other senior residents away with noise or hostility, making it uncomfortable for people to enjoy the facilities.

These are just a few potential examples of behavioral issues. For some seniors, they may lock themselves in their room, keep the door closed, and have no interest in going to the cafeteria or even eating very much at all.

In time, some of these behaviors can become potentially dangerous. So, what can assisted living do about these situations? What could you, as a family loved one, do to help?

 

Staff may be limited.

It’s not that the number of staff are limited, but what they can do — morally, ethically, or legally — might be limited. As long as the senior is not hurting somebody else, causing imminent harm to others, or putting themselves at risk, there may be little they can do other than offer encouragement and try to find activities the senior wants to participate in.

 

What about you?

You may be limited, too, morally, ethically, and legally, but you can certainly try. One of the most effective ways at dealing with behavioral issues is to understand the root cause. Was this person moving to assisted living because they felt they had no other choice?

Were they pressured? Or did they feel pressured? You might not have pressured them, but what is their perspective? Did they infer something from the things you said that you didn’t intend?

Maybe they thought it was only temporary, or they assumed there were going to be certain activities that just aren’t available. The best way to begin dealing with behavioral issues of this nature is to dig in, find out why they’re unhappy, and see if there’s a resolution.

Often, people get frustrated when they don’t feel as though they’re heard, when they don’t feel like someone they love is listening to them. It may only take a listening ear, compassion, and patience to help them turn the corner and see the value this new living environment truly offers.

If you or an aging loved-one is considering a move to Assisted Living in Phoenix, AZ please contact the caring staff at MD Senior Living today. 480-267-9200

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