Your elderly family member might surprise you sometimes with an angry or aggressive outburst that seems to come out of nowhere. The reality is that these types of episodes don’t truly come out of nowhere. There’s a reason for them, even if it’s difficult to sort it out at first.
She Might Be in Pain
The very first thing to consider when your aging adult is expressing serious anger is whether they are in pain. This is especially important if there is no emotional reason for them to be expressing anger. When your elderly family member can’t tell you why they’re feeling angry or where they hurt, you may have to do some detective work.
Look at Whether Something Happened
Once you’ve ruled out pain, you have to start looking at what else might be going on. There could be something that has frustrated your elderly family member, such as no longer being able to perform certain tasks on their own. Sometimes your aging family member might find getting help from you or from senior care providers as frustrating, even if they need it. So it’s important to look at what could be causing the reaction.
Fix What You Can Fix
Some of what makes your senior angry may be things that you can do something about. For example, if they’re frustrated by not remembering something, you can start leaving notes for them and label cabinets and drawers. It’s important to remember that you may not be able to fix some of what causes your senior to have outbursts, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
Avoid Getting Upset Yourself
You need to remember that when your elderly family member has an angry outburst or when they’re aggressive with you, it’s almost certainly not because you’ve actually done something. But it’s difficult to remember in the heat of the situation that it’s not a personal attack. Take a moment to collect yourself if you’re starting to feel emotional and then you can get back to helping your aging family member get past this episode.
Work on finding ways to understand what else could be going on with your aging adult to understand aggression and anger. Senior care providers can help you to get to the bottom of these kinds of situations because they’ve seen it happen before.