Very often aging adults start being mean or awful to their caregivers. One reason this happens is that your senior feels safe to do so, oddly enough. It doesn’t feel like a compliment at that moment, though. Here’s how you can try to get through these tough times.
Do What You Can to Stay Calm
If your senior is feeling as if it’s okay to start venting on you with mean behaviors, getting upset is going to escalate things dramatically. It’s much better for you and for her if you can stay as calm as possible. Sometimes that might mean that you leave the room or simply ignore what she’s saying unless she’s expressing a true need.
Steer Clear of Anything Close to Arguing
You definitely want to avoid anything that could be construed as arguing. If your elderly family member is feeling particularly mean, though, anything you say might be considered arguing with her. Remember to take deep breaths and to remain as calm as possible.
Figure out What Might Be Behind the Behavior
What set off the attack? If you can figure out what might be behind the behavior you’re receiving you might be able to help her to shift what she’s doing. If she’s feeling uncomfortable or tired, that might make her lash out at you. Assess what’s going on and whether there’s anything that you can do to make it better.
It Isn’t Personal
This isn’t always easy to remember, especially if the things your senior is saying or doing are truly awful, but this isn’t about you. It’s not personal, no matter how much it seems as if it is personal. She’s reacting to a situation and you feel like a safe place for her to vent how she’s feeling. That doesn’t always help, but it’s a reminder you might need to give yourself often.
Take Time Away
Take some breaks from all of this for a little while. No one enjoys having mean insults or behaviors thrown at them long term. Hiring senior care providers gives you a chance to escape for a little while and ensures that your aging family member still has help. You both might benefit from that time away.
It’s not easy to take care of someone that you love and have them take their anger and frustration out on you. Do what you can to take the best care of yourself that you can.