Taking care of our elderly ones can be one job made impossible when they are largely uncooperative with our attempts. Aging in itself is no disease, it’s a normal physiological phenomenon that happens to everyone in due time. At this stage, elderly ones may exhibit unwanted attitudes. This can be an accentuation of longstanding traits by senility or a manifestation of diseases of aging such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia or conditions like depression.
These reasons may act in concert with factors such as educational background, social status, family support e.t.c. Whatever the case may be, caring for them in situations like this is a struggle. An elderly one can unknowingly or even knowingly inflict emotional, mental, and even physical abuse on caregivers. In this article, we should understand what to expect and things that can be done to successfully manage these situations.
Anger and verbal abuse come out on the top of our list for this discussion. Important virtues caregivers need to learn are patience and restraint. Truth be told, it’s very difficult to understand why someone you love and are trying to care for will lash out at you using the meanest words. Even if one understands this is due to a condition such as dementia, there’s always a limit to what anyone can take.
It might help to understand that memory loss, loss of childhood friends and chronic pain may be reasons why an elderly one is acting in this manner. As a caregiver, take a break and get some fresh air in. Vent to someone. It’s easier when you’re not alone in providing care. Talking to them about it is also a way to handle the situation. Depending on their insight on the matter, it might not be effective but let them understand in the plainest terms possible that their actions are very unwelcome. If it’d require getting outside help, take the step. See a doctor. Get someone else to step in and help.
The same applies to the use of offensive language, inappropriate comment,s and unruly behavior. Bringing in their friends, spiritual advisers or anyone who they have respect for is one way to go. Feel free to bring up details of a happy past just to distract them from a course of anger. One may need to play a little on their conscience by telling them how their grandchildren or friends would detest such behavior.
Some elders may become overly suspicious of happenings, exhibiting paranoia. Seeing things that are not there(hallucinations) may set in. These may be signs of a serious mental condition. Professional help is often needed. Do not hesitate to take the right steps when deemed necessary.