Watching the elderly become angry and throw tantrums may not seem a good thing. In fact, most people may find this behavior a bit irritating. The worst part is that those who find themselves in this situation don’t know what to do.
Generally, handling an old lashing person can be a challenge and the worst experience. To be able to handle such people, one must first understand the root cause of the anger or outburst. This way, you will be able to manage the situation without also losing your temper. Keep reading if you want to understand more about old age and anger.
Is This Temporary or a Permanent Condition?
What you need to know about anger or aggressive behavior among the elderly is that the causes are different. So, depending on the cause, the anger may be temporary or permanent. However, there is always a way of controlling the situation. It can be a non-medical intervention or treatment that may involve specialized medical attention.
What Causes Anger?
The elderly experience a host of health conditions that necessitate them to start using some medical prescription. Some may use the drugs for some time, while others may last for a lifetime. Note that certain medications can cause negative effects on a person taking them. Sometimes a drug can interact with others to cause irritability and mood swings, and one of them is anger. So, a change in moods could be the reason why your grandma gets angry more often.
The elderly may show anger or throw tantrums because of personality changes brought about by health conditions such as dementia. People with this health problem tend to get angry for no reason. So, your grandma could be going through this, and that is why she happens to be angry all the time.
Misunderstanding among the old age could be another reason why they are always angry. Note that old folks have a problem understanding what other people around them do or say. So, even if your intention is to help them, they may feel that you are trying to boss them around. This situation may make them angry.
Does This Behavior Pose Any Danger?
Since the causes of anger are different, the level may also vary. However, some conditions such as dementia may make the person become so angry and aggressive. They become angry to the extent of doing crazy things that may lead to self-harm and hurt the people around them. For instance, the person may begin to hit, kick, or push things and people around them. Note that this is something that may cause physical injuries.
How Do You Cope with the Anger?
Strategies for dealing with anger or aggressive behavior among old folks may vary depending on the prevailing situation. So, how you will handle one person may be different from the other. You can do the following:
Don’t argue with the person. It is possible that the temptation of proving a point may lead you into an argument with the old folk. However, note that this may not be effective if you are dealing with someone with a dementia condition. It may instead worsen the situation, making that person angrier.
Another best thing to do is to give that person space. Angry old folks, especially those with dementia, don’t like it when other people invade their space. If you do this, you should expect resistance and more aggression for the person.
Another thing is that you may be trying to help the person, but all you will receive from that person is aggression and anger. In this case, give that person time until she calms down before you continue with the support you were giving.
When to See a Doctor
Sometimes the aggression and anger you may receive from the elderly relative you are trying to help may not be manageable. It may make you feel that you are no longer safe. If the anger turns out to be a danger, then it is time to see a doctor.
Though medication is usually not the best option in such cases, it may be necessary if the behavior happens to be challenging to manage. A doctor can examine or do a medical evaluation to determine the cause of the anger or aggression and decide on the best medication for the person.
Handling anger among the elderly may not be possible. However, if you understand the cause of the behavior, then it might be easy for you to handle such people. The information in this post should provide you with insights on how to go about the situation successfully.
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