Older Adults and Their Anger Issues
It may be rather unnerving when your parent has a tantrum for the first time as an adults. Although we often associate tantrums with young children or teens, emotional outbursts may happen at any stage of life.
Acting out is losing control when confronted with intense emotions like anger, grief, fear, or any combination of the three. Watching an elderly parent lose their cool is difficult because it feels wrong on many levels.
Many family caregivers are horrified and unsure of how to react when their parent exhibits a level of irrationality that they have never seen before. However, the best technique to handle an outburst without losing your cool depends on understanding its causes.
Why Do the Elderly Get So Angry?
Of course, a wide range of factors might influence your elderly loved ones’ mood fluctuations. Additionally, there might not be a clear indicator that an angry outburst will occur.
Dementia or Alzheimer’s
Another circumstance in which your elderly parent’s conduct may progressively change—but not of their own free will—is when they are suffering from cognitive decline brought on by the development of dementia or Alzheimer’s. These kinds of cognitive disorders can impair reasoning, judgment, and memory.
Your parent can start feeling frustrated with themselves for forgetting things that used to come to them naturally. They then vent that anger on other people. Every time you speak, they could not even know who you are, so they might treat you inappropriately.
Being aware of their mortality
Admitting you are not immortal and won’t live forever is never simple. But unfortunately, it’s getting tougher for your elderly parent to deny their mortality now that the years have caught up with them.
They may get anxious or depressed, which increases their propensity to lash out at you and other people. When a close friend, family member, or even a pet passes away, it can occasionally make people feel anxious and frustrated about their mortality. Speaking with a qualified counselor may be a crucial step in assisting your elderly parent in learning how to start addressing the subject of their mortality.
Experiencing Pains and Aches
Aging may be difficult and rife with health issues. The joints, muscles, and bones of your elderly parent are less flexible than they once were. As a result, adults almost certainly don’t wake up without some pain. But, then, most likely, as the day goes on, their discomfort gets worse.
This is particularly true if they struggle with pressure ulcer consequences, which may be excruciatingly painful. I am aware that my mother endured persistent pain from arthritis in her hands and hips throughout her life. It prevented her from getting a good night’s sleep and made activities unpleasant and less pleasurable.
In addition to dealing with problems like a urinary tract infection, many older persons frequently have various kinds of muscle and joint discomfort. Anybody might become irritable from smiling while coping with pain all the time and having bad health.
Not being independent
Your elderly parents’ resentment about having to give up their independence, in addition to potential challenges with everyday duties, maybe another factor contributing to their hostile outbursts.
Consider this: they may have struggled to get out of bed in the past, but now they may live alone, with your other parent, or with a stepparent. Sometimes older people require additional assistance because they have trouble getting dressed, cooking, or performing other daily tasks.
This is not only annoying, but it could also make you feel embarrassed. In my dad’s instance, he had to give up his license, which worried him. However, about 15 months later, he was still discussing it on the day of his death.
A professional caregiver could be the greatest option for someone who struggles with everyday duties, even though this may be difficult for elderly individuals to accept. Additionally, respite care could give family caregivers a break from the challenges of looking after an elderly parent.
Side Effects of Medicine
Sometimes, an older parent’s actions may not be entirely their fault. For instance, if adults are taking a variety of drugs. Some drugs might produce personality changes, mood swings, and behavioral changes as side effects, which will modify your parent’s personality from what it generally is.
It’s a good idea to let your doctor know about these kinds of changes as well as any other drug-related side effects you may have. Elderly patients frequently won’t challenge their doctors. Therefore a family member may need to.
How Should I Respond to My Aging Parent’s Rude Behavior?
Elderly parents can turn against the kid doing all possible to look after adults, leading to caregiver abuse. Stories of adults children subjected to mental, emotional, or physical abuse are too prevalent.
The older will usually turn on the adults kid to show the greatest affection unless they have a personality issue or mental illness since they feel secure enough to do it. They don’t intentionally mistreat the child, but they are angry and need to get their anger about growing older, living with chronic pain, losing a spouse and friends, struggling with memory loss, being incontinent, etc.
What to Do
Try discussing your feelings with adults regarding their abusive actions. However, chatting often doesn’t help carers much. The idea that they better be nicer to you or you will leave may be driven home if the abuse is verbal or emotional. To make them appreciate everything you do for them, stop doing it for a while.
Your parent will be able to appreciate all that you do since you were able to take a break and obtain assistance. However, if an elderly parent is physically assaulting their caretaker, professional assistance, such as that of a counselor or the police, may be required.
It is a highly stressful situation for caretakers when elderly persons who were formerly pretty clean refuse to take showers, wear clean clothing, and maintain good personal hygiene.
Sometimes depression is the problem. Control is still another element. People gradually lose control of their life as they become older. However, dressing and taking showers is something they can usually regulate. They fight back more the more you bug them.
The issue may be brought on by diminished vision and smell. They are completely unaware of what your nose detects as stale perspiration. Or perhaps memory is to a fault. Days pass by. They don’t have a ton of activities scheduled for asdults, there isn’t anything particularly noteworthy about Wednesday (it might be Tuesday or Thursday), and they lose track of time, failing whole remember how long it has been since they last had a shower. Fear or discomfort can also be a major problem, such as the fear of sliding in the bathtub or the shame of needing assistance.
What to Do
Finding out why they have stopped bathing is the first step. See your doctor if they have lost their sense of smell. A parent’s loss of smell might be caused by drugs they are taking or a separate condition.
If depression is at blame, get expert assistance. Drugs and therapy both have benefits. The elder may be willing to let an in-home care service come in only for a bath if modesty is an issue. However, she doesn’t want a family member helping her since it would be too personal.
Several types of shower chairs might assist if they are terrified of the water (or of sitting in the tub). You must be careful if the person is insane and scared to take a bath. Do not insist on taking a bath or shower. Request to clean the person’s face to start.
Move gradually to the underarms and other body regions while chatting with adults and explaining what you are doing. Make every effort to keep your parent tidy. However, persistent nagging is ineffective, and you could lower your standards and notions of cleanliness.
Swearing, derogatory speech, and inappropriate remarks
Family members wonder why a typically loving father or mother would suddenly start using the harshest profanities, using rude language, or saying inappropriate things. What to do about it, etc.
We’ve heard tales of parents who, in the past, were polite, would never use a four-letter term, and would instead abruptly curse or call their caregiver derogatory names. When it occurs in private, it is painful; when it occurs in public, it is embarrassing.
What to Do
When an older adults exhibits unusual conduct, Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are likely to blame. So how do you handle profanity? Here are a few concepts: Use diversionary techniques when a cursing rant starts. Distracting your aging parent’s attention is a straightforward yet efficient tactic. The swearing may stop once their focus is restored.
Additionally, try recalling enjoyable moments from the past. Elders, like everyone else, like thinking back on their life from “back in the day.” The older parent will probably forget about whatever upset adults at the moment using their long-term memory skills. If none of these helps, back off, vanish, and wait for the situation to pass.
Keeping tissues on hand, questioning whether to take their medications, scratching at their skin continually, hypochondria. Elderly parents and their carers experience everyday disruptions due to these compulsive activities. Sometimes an addictive personality or a history of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is linked to obsession.
What to Do
Consider your parent’s obsessive-compulsive tendencies as symptoms rather than flaws in their personality. Keep an eye out for clues that particular situations set off your parent’s addiction. Avoid the event or activity as much as possible if the preoccupation is connected to it. Stay away from your parents’ obsessions. Change this practice right away if you have ever assisted with rituals. Family and friends should refrain from participating in ritual actions.
Anxiety, despair, and dementia are just a few of the additional illnesses that have been linked to obsessive behavior. Make an appointment for your parent so that a mental health specialist can address their obsessive problem. The solution can be therapy or medicine. Look into local therapy groups, outpatient, and residential programs.
Growing older is not something for wimps, as the phrase goes. Various factors might cause aging people’s rage and outbursts. Older children and caregivers may grow less resentful of mood swings in their elderly loved ones if they can learn to comprehend some of the effects of aging. Additionally, if you can identify a physical cause for their rage, you might be able to assist adults in obtaining the support they need to live happy later years.
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