How To Help A Loved One Who Has Behavior Challenges

Behavior Challenges


Behavior challenges of aging can bring some challenging behavior for our loved ones. Also, our parents do not always enjoy this journey of their life.
  • Degenerative diseases
  • The decline in mental functioning
  • Sudden setback in physical capability
These behavior challenges can make seniors grumpy, irritated, stubborn, and rude. Anger is usually a side effect of aging; we all must admit and agree. And the sooner we do it, the better we will be in a position to understand our parents. For one thing, we all have to face this situation in our lifetime. So, we must prepare ourselves and our parents for these challenging behaviors.

Understanding senior behavior

It is essential to realize talking to our parents about their behavior is one of the best things we can do. However, the idea is not as simple as it sounds. For this reason, we will be learning other tips and steps to handle the stubborn behavior of our seniors. But before that, let us understand the reasons behind the sudden behavioral change.

What causes challenging behavior?
  • The sudden changes in their lifestyle
  • Onset of diseases
  • Accidents
  • Surgeries
  • Chronic illness
  • The decline in emotional well being
As a result, these all will cause our parents to become bitter, rude, or stubborn. In this case, let us explore some of the possible reasons for anger in our seniors:
  • Deteriorating physical health
Necessary to realize physical health takes a back seat with advancing age. Another critical point, our seniors fall prey to chronic illness, disability, and debilitating arthritic pain causing lousy behavior. For this reason, all these require frequent visits to the hospital for treatment. This eventually makes our seniors vulnerable, afraid, and insecure about losing their independence. All these can make our aging parents angry, stubborn, irritated, and bitter.
  • Stroke
Elderly individuals are more susceptible to suffering strokes, which causes them to become angry and irritated. Research done at various institutes has found that about 32% of stroke victims cannot control their bad behavior.
  • Problems in the family
Problems in the family are one of the biggest reasons for the sudden unfavorable change in the behavior of our elderly parents. Knowingly or unknowingly, the other family members might have changed their behavior toward their parents. It might also be possible that they have stopped involving their parents in significant decisions. It may so happen that the children and other members have stopped communicating with their parents. All these can make senior individuals grumpy, sad, and depressed,d and eventually, become irritated, angry, and stubborn.
  • Depression
Depression is also one of the significant reasons for old anger and challenging behavior. With the offense being one of its many symptoms. The root causes of depression include recent loss, social isolation, and much more.
  • Dementia
Dementia is one of the significant accompaniments of old age. Our senior parents suffer from many dementia-related conditions, such as Alzheimer’s. Such diseases often cause our parents to exhibit anger and other emotional outbursts. These mental disorders cause much stress on our seniors owing to poor cognitive functioning and its subsequent side effects, too challenging behavior.
  • Medications
Certain medications especially meant for the treatment of chronic illnesses, can significantly affect the behavior of our elderly loved ones. Change in behavior, anger; irritation sometimes occurs as side effects of various medications.
  • Anxiety and fear
As our parents age, they somehow live in constant fear of illness and death. Such a type of continuous fear causes a sudden behavior change, which is exhibited as anger, irritability, and stubbornness.

Tips for handling challenging behavior such as bitter or stubborn

First, we need to understand that our parents are angry because of their health and other unknown issues. Put yourself in their place and analyze their situation. Imagine your health deteriorating and how worthless and helpless you are feeling.
When we place ourselves in their situation, we are in a much better position to help our seniors deal with their stubbornness and anger. The following tips shall help you handle your parents when they are stubborn:
  • Communicate
This is perhaps one of the most powerful skills to help you in such cases. When you talk to your parents regarding their health and well-being, they feel wanted and protected. You can then gradually ask them about the sudden change in their behavior and what makes them angry and stubborn. In many cases, you may be surprised to find out that their family members and their behavior are the reason behind their sudden change in attitude.
  • Ask a professional to help.
When direct communication with your parents doesn’t seem to help, you can always ask a professional to step in. There may be specific issues they don’t want to discuss with you; hence, a professional becomes a better alternative in such cases.
  • Socializing
Ask your parents to meet their friends often. Moreover, you can also suggest to them various activities that could keep them busy.
  • Physical activity
You can suggest some light exercises to your parents. Being physically active has a significant impact on their mood and energy levels.
  • Hobbies
We all have specific interests, some hobbies, that we do not get the chance to practice after a certain age. If your parents are behaving weirdly and are often angry and stubborn, you can always suggest they do activities that make them happy. For example, listening to your favorite song, reading a book, or gardening can make your seniors happy. Doing or participating in activities that make our seniors happy can do a lot more good to improve their mood.
All the tips mentioned above can help the caregiver or family member in taking care of senior parents who have become bitter and stubborn. Finding gratitude and happiness in the hardest of situation will help you make the best of any challenging behavior or situation. Check out this site for more information. Also, check out this past post I have done on negative emotions.

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