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Personality Traits – Are They Exaggerated With Age?

If you have an elderly relative experiencing a physical and mental decline, your answer will probably be an affirmative, YES! Maybe not, but in my personal observation, I’ve noticed some of an elderly family member’s personality traits, mostly the bad ones, surfacing to the extreme during their struggle with some of the negative effects of aging. A trait such as stubbornness is transcending rather rapidly in their unwillingness to conform to a new medication regiment. Denial, a trait present in many instances throughout their life, has materialized itself into thinking that such things as doctor’s visits, physical therapy and visits from a social worker aren’t necessary.

Being resistant to learning new things has surfaced as an excuse because of age. Okay, maybe I’m being too mean and it is me that is in denial, perhaps there are some good traits. Optimism is one, and even though things might not be looking too bright right now, hope for better times ahead is shining through the fog like a beacon, just like it always has. Diseases such Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia play huge roles in altering one’s personality and behaviors. Dementia is a chronic usually progressive generalized impairment of the brain function. The risks increase with age: 5% after age 65 and by 20% after age 80. Some studies show pre existing personality traits may be accentuated during the development of a dementia.

OLD SKOOL by *nothought on deviantART

Typical symptoms of dementia include :

Memory (amnesia):is virtually always affected, with short term-memory and memory for recent events being lost first. Memory of events from the distant past is usually preserved until the very late stages of the illness.
Orientation in time and place:are lost relatively early in the illness which may result in the person becoming lost and wandering aimlessly. In the later stages of the illness, orientation in person may be lost with the person not recognizing familiar people or themselves.
Praxis:the ability to coordinate complex motor function is affected. The person may not be able to perform acts on command but still perform spontaneously, or may be unable to carry out a sequence of tasks despite being able to perform each task individually.
Language function (Dysphasia): is impaired, initially with finding words (nominal dysphasia or anomia), progressing to difficulties generating speech (expressive dysphasia), comprehending speech (receptive dysphasia) or combination of the two (mixed dysphasia).
Abstract thinking and judgment:are impaired, leaving the person unable to deal with problems or unfamiliar situations.
Personality changes: are common, often involving a coarsening of pre-existing personality traits.The effects on personality were largely explainedby associated differences in the cognitive, social, and physical activity prior to the onset.
Social behavior:deteriorates, often becoming shallow or inappropriate.
Mood changes:are common with depression irritability and anxiety all occurring in some cases.

If you find yourself struggling with the decline of an elderly relative who hasn’t necessarily been diagnosed with dementia, finding an appropriate living environment might be on your list.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Houston and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

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