Let’s face it; when parents get old, their behavior and attitudes are bound to change- and not always in a good way. Children everywhere who are the caregivers of their parents time and time again will find that it is definitely not as easy as it looks. Here are a few of the most common bad behaviors elder parents will exhibit and what you can do about them.
As our parents age, they will often run into frustrating problems, such as chronic pains and the loss of many friends. It only makes sense, then, that they would become more irritable and impatient, often taking out their frustration on their caregiver (you) by showing signs of anger or rage, often in the form of constant yelling.
The most important thing you can do in this instance is to remember that you are not the source of their frustrations- you are just the closest person that they can vent on. A good idea, though, is taking some time off from your caring duties and hiring some help. CarePilot home packages is one service that can offer you the funding you need to get that extra help, even if it’s just part-time or only for the weekends.
Turning to poor hygiene.
This is actually very common in the elderly- they will refuse showers or baths from their caregivers for many reasons. One big one is that older adults lose their sense of independence, and taking care of themselves is something they want to hold onto. It’s very frustrating for the caregiver to have to push them to take a shower, but it’s even harder for the elder to admit that they need, and then actually accept, your help.
It could also be a result of depression or an issue like the fear of falling or slipping in the tub, so the first thing you should do is identify why they are refusing bathing. If depression seems to be the problem, ask their doctor for help with medications and therapy. If it seems they may be embarrassed to bathe in front of you, a close family member, then hiring some in-home care help could also help.
New obsessions and bad habits.
You may notice that your aging parent may be beginning to show new strange habits, a few examples being picking their skin, worrying about when to take their medications, or signs of hoarding. Sometimes elders want to keep and hoard as many things as they can for the purpose of memories, or they start new habits as a result of anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder.
If your parent is holding onto things for memories, help them sort through their things and create a special place for the important items. If you find that there is something triggering your parent’s behavior, like a daily ritual such as dinner time, make this activity as calming and short as possible. If their behaviors can’t be helped or are becoming extreme, contact their doctor or other health professional for help.
Coping with the bad behavior of your parents can really be difficult and exhausting, but it’s important to know that there is still something you can do about it.