If you’ve been on the receiving end of shouting, aggressive physical behavior, or other extreme reactions from your senior, you were probably caught off guard. There’s a lot that can be going on in these situations.
Resolve or Fix Whatever You Can for Her
You can’t fix every situation for your elderly family member, no matter how much you want to do so. But there may be small things you can do to help the situation to be a little better. Try to figure out what it is that is a problem for her and offer choices about what you can do. Once she realizes that you honestly are trying to help her, she may be able to calm down a little more quickly.
Try to Understand Her Perspective, if Possible
When your aging family member is giving you aggressive or extreme responses to situations, she’s doing so because of her perspective on the issue. Her perspective might be a bit one-sided, but she is still seeing and reacting to the situation from her unique point of view. Talk to your senior, if possible, about what has her so upset. Try to be careful about your tone of voice and the choice of words you use, because if she’s hypersensitive, those could inadvertently make the situation worse. Your other option is to wait for her to be in the mood to communicate with you.
Give Her a Chance to Calm Down Again
One of the best things you can do when your senior is responding in an aggressive manner is to give her some space. Step back, literally and figuratively, and let her regain her composure. This is going to help both of you. By stepping back until she’s feeling calmer, you also have a chance to calm down and to re-center yourself. Both of you may be better able to handle what’s happening in a little while.
Take Your Own Breaks
Taking breaks regularly is going to help you to be prepared for situations like this, especially if they’re becoming more common for your senior. Hire senior care providers and do the things that help you to feel whole and centered so that when you come back to caregiving, you’re ready.
Sometimes extreme responses have reasons behind them and that’s something you need to figure out as your senior’s caregiver. It’s not always easy to do, but it’s time well invested.