It's perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of caregiving. After trying your best to help your aging loved one stay happy and healthy, you're reciprocated with anger. It's very common, especially with Alzheimer's disease and dementia patients. Yet there are reasons for this hostility and not entirely unfounded ones.
Health Central provides the possible source of your aging loved one's anger:
1. The loss of control. While there are large chunks of time in which these patients may not be lucid, the times they are can be saturated with confusion. They may be unsure how they got to where they are or more. The loss of control over one's life can cause many emotions and struggle.
2. Feeling like a child. After being on their own for decades and possibly raising a family of their own, they may feel like they are being treated like a child all over again. For caregivers, it's important to give respect and courtesy, despite their mental state.
3. Feeling subservient. At times, children of parents with Alzheimer's may lose their patience and spat out orders instead of being presented choices. Make them feel included with decision making and independent.
4. Body language. You may be giving off a pleasant tone, but your body may be sending signals of hostility. Remember, they are still the person you once knew and may detect when you're frustrated or don't want to be there.
5. Unable to understand. This last reason goes beyond dementia. If they are physically unable to hear you, understand your lingo, or frustrated at something such as technology being used instead of a traditional solution, anger is a natural reaction.
Think about what you would do if you were in this situation. You may be just as angry.
As you can see, while anger is extremely hard to handle as a caregiver, it can be a logical and understandable rebuttal to the environment they are in. You can help the both of you by creating a positive and loving environment. Of course, sometimes all of these suggestions are already in place, and there may still be some anger. Just realize that this is one of the hardest parts of caregiving to the elderly, but deep inside they truly do appreciate your efforts.
For more information, check out Health Central