Elderly parents suffering from neurodegenerative disease often exhibit challenging behaviours. As their carer you’ll be faced with temper tantrums, stubbornness and verbal aggression. We know that dealing with irrational behaviour every day is exhausting, but the situation isn’t hopeless and can be helped. The key is communication, acceptance and cooperation.
Understanding elderly parents
The first step in dealing with aging parents anger is understanding the root of the problem. Getting old comes with a lot of physical and mental issues. Understanding your parent’s view and ability to place yourself in their position is crucial. Where the behaviour is coming from? What motivates the verbal abuse? Those are the questions that need to be answered in order to start dealing with aging parents anger.
Older adults experience a plethora of health related issues – difficulties with walking, chronic pain, swelling joints and problems with hearing are amongst them. Those limitations may be the reason behind resentment, hostility and rudeness. As for the seniors suffering with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, the aggression and irrational way of acting are of the symptoms. It is important to remember that the Elderly don’t have full control over their words or actions.
The deteriorating health is not the only problem. Try to acknowledge that aging parents still have their autonomy and dignity, despite constant need for support in everyday activities.
Communicating with angry elderly mother or father
At first coping with elderly parents who behave badly will seem impossible. However, we firmly believe that communicating in a right way would help a lot. Here are some tips on what to do with difficult elderly parents.
- Never take it personally – try not to get drawn into arguments and remember to ignore harsh words that come from your angry elderly mother’s mouth. Holding a grudge will only make taking care of her harder. Sometimes she is not able to express the feeling of helplessness and unhappiness in any other way.
- Involved them – take into consideration your elderly parents preferences. Don’t make important decision about their life without asking them. Sometimes seniors with dementia will have trouble understanding you, don’t lose your temper and simplify the question.
- Compromise – compromising on an issue is a sure way to avoid escalating conflict. Don’t pressure them to be involved in activities since this could lead to aggression. Try again later, after using a distraction of something he or she finds pleasant. If they are not willing to have a bath right now maybe suggest brushing their teeth instead?
How to deal with irrational elderly parents
If mentioned above tips doesn’t help and verbal abuse and aggression continues, maybe you should consider stepping aside. Elderly parents suffering from dementia are more inclined to cooperate with a stranger. It is often motivated by guilt and shame, especially when family member has to take care of something as intimate as personal hygiene.
Home care services can be helpful. Providing a professionally trained carer that is going to keep your loved one’s company 24-hour a day will give you peace of mind. Live-in carers have experience in dealing with dementia patients and are equipped to take on everyday challenges. They will make nutritious meals, occupy patients free time with various activities and take care of the house.
Remember that admitting you need an extra bit of help is not a sign of weakness. Carer will exponentially improve seniors quality of life.