When a senior loved one lashes out at the people who love and care for her, it can be scary and even intimidating. But many family caregivers try to soldier through on their own, thinking that’s the only way.
Determine When the Behavior Started
Some elderly loved ones have never enjoyed having other people fussing over them or trying to take care of them. In those cases, this kind of behavior may not be unusual. If your loved one had a sudden debilitating illness, though, such as a stroke, their frustration and anger over their current situation can cause them to lash out at others. Determining when the behavior started can help you to understand it better and possibly flesh out solutions.
Figure Out How Much the Situation Is Affecting You
There are some family caregivers who are able to ignore verbal and physical lashing out, but for others, it can affect them greatly. If you find that you’re feeling drained both emotionally and physically from the behavior, it’s affecting you more than you realize. Other signs could include that you’re thinking about each event long after it’s over or you’re more prone to breaking down emotionally after each episode.
Is Personal Safety at Risk?
If the personal safety of anyone who cares for your loved one is at risk, this is a huge problem. Your loved one needs care, but that doesn’t mean that she can harm the people who are trying to give her that care.
Try All Solutions for Improving the Situation
For some elderly loved ones, the lashing out happens because they’re frustrated or they hate having their family see them this way. In those cases, you might have a great deal of luck with bringing in-home care providers to care for your loved one. This isn’t always the only solution, though, so it can help to talk to all of the professionals involved in your loved one’s care to make sure that you’re giving every solution a solid effort.
Talk to a Counselor or Therapist
For your own well-being, it can be beneficial to talk to a therapist or a counselor. Having that outlet can help you to work through your own emotions and reactions to your loved one’s behavior. This can be especially helpful if you always had a strong, loving relationship with your loved one.
Always work with your loved one’s medical team to see if there are solutions that might work in her situation.