Do they drive you crazy? Such moments come while taking care of your aging parents. Irrational behaviors, hallucinations, personality changes, and temper tantrums are a few of them you may notice. Learning the set expectations of what they need along with what you are able to handle will be crucial. We here aim to make a smoother transition by guiding you as a child and care provider of your parents.
Know when you must step in
There are a few reasons for family members to step in as a caregiver like gradual health decline, any emergency health condition or new health problems, new diagnosis, treatment plans, etc. As they start to become older you can notice the changes in them. Behavior or habits change gradually so trying to recognize the pattern before can help you deal with it more clearly. This pattern changes may be like skipping meeting their friends or relatives, missing bill payments, and regular doctor appointments.
Older ones commonly exhibit some potential physical and mental causes. Increasing age and illness may unpleasantly increase their long-standing personality traits. Like an irritated person who may enrage frequently or be impatient for certain things. Unfortunately, an angry elder’s first aim is their children.
How to deal with it?
First and foremost is to identify the main cause of anger. They go through different things in the aging process. It sparks resentment in the seniors who live with chronic diseases, lost friends, experiences memory loss, and other undignified things that develop during the old days.
Elders show their worst behavior to those who are closest to them, like ‘you’. In such a case, if you cannot handle it on your own then consider hiring a caretaker. Angry behavior might not come in front of any stranger and you also get a break from getting angry at your loved ones.
Be realistic about what and how much you can without sacrificing your health and relationship with others. If you take too much, you have to burn out also. It can bring change in your behavior too.
In elders, hallucinations are commonly seen. It is a warning sign of some mental or physical problem. Keep a track of why it is happening and when so that you can discuss it with your doctor. It can be due to new medication they started, dehydration, or UTI issue too.
Hallucinations are also associated with dementia. As an expert, the best thing is to follow nicely. Do not try to change their minds because they are not going to hear you. What they hear, see or experience is real for them. Try to acknowledge their concerns in a smooth voice by redirecting their mind. Only this way you can help through such experiences.
Attention Seeking or Demanding Behavior
Once you become a caretaker, the recipient wants a 24hours commitment towards them. However, they have other priorities and obligations like kids, husband, work, and other daily routines. Seniors who will be capable of doing their things themselves may become completely dependent on you for all their needs. Involving them in some social activities like book clubs, volunteer opportunities, art classes, daycare, and senior centers are viable options for keeping them focused on something else too then you.
Many of you are already facing these issues in helping your elders in their late life. It is a pretty complicated face of your life. With some persistence, eventually, you will sort your way.