What Leads Aging Adults to Erupt in Anger?

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Simply getting older doesn’t mean your aging parent will have unexpected mood swings or outbursts of anger. That being said, it’s possible for such behaviour to become an issue in seniors with chronic health conditions or forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, that normally progress and trigger increasingly severe symptoms as more changes take place within the brain. Here’s a closer look at why seniors sometimes erupt in anger and how you can address it in your loved one.

Physical Triggers

Some seniors become angry if they’re experiencing physical discomfort. This is more likely to happen if your loved one is no longer able to clearly understand and verbalize what’s going on. In some cases, an inability to do certain physical tasks may trigger an outburst. You may be able to address situations like this by:

• Doing a quick check to see if you notice anything that could be causing your loved one physical distress
• Gently helping with a physical task your loved one is having difficulty with
• Seeking input from a doctor if angry outbursts suddenly become worse to rule out possible medical reasons such as dementia

Symptoms such as agitation, confusion, anger, and frustration are common in elderly people with dementia. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Vancouver seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

Emotional Triggers

It’s more common for anger in older adults to have an emotional source. For instance, your loved one may feel overwhelmed or may not know how to express his or her feelings about a particular situation. Loneliness and boredom can contribute to angry outbursts as well. Possible solutions include:

• Sticking to one topic in each conversation
• Minimizing distractions in your loved one’s immediate environment
• Planning regular activities throughout the day to minimize boredom and loneliness
• Looking for visual clues such as facial expressions to tell if it’s time to switch activities or give your loved one a break

Mental Triggers

Older adults sometimes reach a point where they mix up their emotions and memories. The result could be outbursts due to confusion or a change in the immediate environment, such as being taken into an unfamiliar room or living space. Angry outbursts of this nature may be minimized by:

• Maintaining a consistent schedule to minimize confusion
• Using comforting touches as you offer verbal reassurances in a calm, relaxed tone
• Considering in-home care so your loved one can stay in a familiar living space
• Using calming techniques such as playing soothing music

The physical and cognitive challenges that accompany aging can make it difficult for seniors to manage everyday tasks, which can put their safety and health at risk. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care service. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.

No Clear Reason

You may have times when you’re simply unable to find out why your loved one is having an angry outburst. First, make sure your loved one isn’t in any clear physical discomfort. If you’ve eliminated physical issues, revert to general recommendations for handling moments of anger, which include:

• Remaining calm and not getting angry in return
• Not making any physical contact unless your personal safety is in danger
• Giving yourself and your loved one time to calm down by leaving the room for a while, if possible

Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Vancouver senior care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care, contact us at (778) 279-3634 today.


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