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How Do You Handle An Elder’s Change in Behaviour?

Old age is not a point in life that can be avoided. It is simply a natural transition through time and it can come with many impairments in the body and mind. This is normal as well, though there can be less of effects if since you were young, you were already practicing good and healthy habits.

Now, because of such deterioration in an elder’s conditions, he or she will have emotional needs that will want to be met. Behaviours from out of the blue can arise, some that do not even make sense. Essentially, the seniors sometimes end up acting more childish than the kids themselves. This is because they are in dire wanting of love and comfort, more so for their current states.

When a family member or two are like this, with tantrums and bad tempers, it is necessary that they are to be handled well instead of the other way around. Of course, they can come up as nonsensical and lacking of maturity, you should be the bigger person and try to understand their perspective.

But in reality, some of the old folks can really become so unbearable. Adult children may even remark that their parents are driving them crazy, on top of everything that they have to tend to like work and their own offspring. Nevertheless, these personality changes and demands must still be managed well. After all, the elders, in essence, just call for attention, love and care from their loved ones, whether unconsciously or not.

Therefore, how you handle such demeanours at the moment?

Try to identify the root of their anger. Supposing they are yelling and screaming their lungs out, ask them why they are doing so. It is of extreme importance that you communicate with them openly. Do this in a manner that is calm and collected as well. Going on a shouting fit with them will only make the matters worse. They may simply be just asking for something but because of stress and other factors, they are not able to express it well.

If you are taking care of them like in eating or the taking of medication and they tend to hurt you physically, it is best that you assign such tasks to another family member, for instance. It could be that they prefer another one to do those for them, though you should not take offense for it. They may feel safer with your brother or sister, and let that be for everyone’s piece of mind. If you are disturbed by this as well, you can also talk it out with them and clarify things. There may be a deeper meaning behind their actions, especially towards you.

Elders may refuse to accomplish everyday doings like taking a bath or shower. Personal hygiene is no doubt vital but there is just some who then become unwilling to do it. Even if they have become dirty and smelly, they may stand their ground to not even touch a drop of water. This can be a frustrating situation but do know that this may just be the result of their depression. Since they do not have much control over their bodies anymore (clearly, as they need someone else to do the bathing for them), this can take a toll on them. There is denial, among others.

As everyone knows, words are powerful weapons that can uplift and/or hurt another’s feelings. And the seniors are no exception with this particular aspect. Even if they were mild mannered or soft spoken before, they can start to speak offensively and inappropriately. Curses and improper comments can come out of their mouths that can then insult the person they are talking to and interacting with. This conduct can be attributed to be a start of dementia or Alzheimer’s, so be on the lookout.

This then leads to the commendation that should be rendered to those who love and care for the elderly folks. They could be loved ones, from family or friends, and/or they could be those in the service, like a home care worker. As they connect and interact a lot with the seniors, they will be very vulnerable to these situations. These people welcome the pain, physically and emotionally, that can be inflicted to them, even if they are not on purpose.

All in all, the key is to really have communication lines wide and open. Being able to vent their frustrations of their old age and sickness is a priority for the elders and everyone must seek to understand them.