Why do old people become mean? We sometimes feel that our elderly loved ones are angry all the time. Is it because they can’t keep up with new trends? Is this change in behavior due to a loss of autonomy or to Alzheimer’s disease for some? What drives old people to get so mean?
Why do you think old people get mean?
Do you wonder a little too often why old people get so mean and sad? At times, caregivers in mental health, family or geriatricians find that the old people in their lives become like strangers. For example, parents who forget their children, spouses who have enjoyed decades of happy marriage may suddenly feel like they no longer know the person they married.
It is a very depressing phase in the lives of the people around them. Spouses can also subsequently experience depression. Children may begin to feel like their parent is no longer the comforting presence they once knew. It’s total decline in the family.
There are many different health problems and situations that are capable of causing some behavioral problems in difficult seniors. Behavioral changes that manifest in this way may be a sign of underlying medical issues that need to be addressed. It is essential for caregivers to know what is normal and what is not in terms of personality changes.
In a retirement home or in an EHPAD, behaviors such as aggressiveness, irritability, apathy, memory loss or depression can appear suddenly and inexplicably. People who have always been sweet, easy-going, and calm all their lives can suddenly start having angry outbursts.
Generally, these behavioral changes should not be taken personally, but they should be taken seriously if the behavior represents a drastic change. If one of your grandparents frequently behaves like Aunt Danielle, you should refer the case to their attending physician. On the other hand, if it is the first time that she has mood swings, you must be patient and observe her in her daily life.
Why do old people get grumpy?
Behavioral changes in old age are common and can be caused by a variety of factors. Here are some of the factors that lead to malaise, rudeness and senility in old age:
1. Hormonal changes. Men see a decrease in testosterone starting around forty, and women a decrease in estrogen starting around fifty, which can lead to depression and mood swings. While women tend to cry and vent on their friends, men mask their depression with anger.
2. Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Memory loss and cognitive impairment can certainly lead to anger and frustration, which can lead an older person to lash out at those around them. Fortunately, some of these disorders can be treated with medication. If you are concerned about dementia, make an appointment with a doctor for drug treatment.
3. Loss of sight or hearing. Another reason old people are so grumpy is that they can’t see or hear as well as they used to or they suffer from neurodegenerative diseases. You’d also be in a bad mood if you couldn’t see the canons of your favorite TV shows as well as you used to, right?
4. The Depression. Change can be tough, and the older you get, the more changes you go through. The person’s environment changes. Loss of loved ones, loss of ability to drive or take care of yourself, loss of home, all of these can lead to depression. The latter leads to anger and emotional outbursts. If your loved one is suffering from depression, see a doctor as there are medications and other therapies that can help.
5. Insufficient rest. Old people tend to get irritated when they are tired. By the way, exhaustion is quite common in old people and they may be reacting to disturbances that occur because of sleep patterns. By giving your loved one the opportunity to enjoy some quiet time or take a nap during the day, you will allow them to keep their emotions more balanced.
6. Cerebrovascular problems. Brain damage is often linked to personality variations. If your loved one is having a stroke, it would be helpful to discuss with the doctor how to treat the symptoms. By ensuring that your loved one follows their therapy and takes the prescribed medications on time, you will help them maintain a calmer personality.
7. Urinary tract infections (UTIs). These infections are important points to consider in the elderly. This must especially be the case for those who have recently experienced profound behavioral changes. UTIs are more common in older women who don’t drink enough water during the day.
Dealing with such a situation can be a difficult task, which requires a lot of attention and thought. The most important thing to remember is that patient behavior is very rarely personal, and you are unlikely to be responsible for a drastic change from apparent joy to anger in a patient.
For proper care, you personally need to be well and you can successfully manage personality changes in an older individual. Here are some of the other actions you can take to manage and treat personality changes in an elderly patient or loved one:
● If the older person is showing signs of apathy, encourage them to do things with you that they used to enjoy. Provide them with a controlled, organized setting in which to do these activities, and choose something reasonable for their particular situation and interests.
● Elderly patients who suffer from anxiety or exhibit compulsive behaviors related to anxiety benefit from an adequate environment. Keep their space organized and peaceful.
● A sudden decrease in empathy can be difficult to work with, but it can often be managed by communicating your feelings about the person’s actions in old age. Thank her and express your gratitude when she acts and speaks appropriately, and explain your feelings when she behaves or speaks inappropriately.
● If an elderly individual exhibits aggressive or threatening behavior, the first most important thing to do is to ensure that you and the patient are physically safe. If you or your loved one is in danger in any way, call for help immediately.
When you have to deal with personality changes in elderly people with dementia, it could be complicated, especially for close family. Even if the elderly parent does not fully regain his youthful personality, with the help of a psychogeriatrician, patience and dedication, he could face old age with serenity.
Conclusion: anger management in old people?
If you want to help an older individual manage their anger, you need to start identifying the underlying cause. It can sometimes be linked to a possible illness. As we all know, aging is difficult for some people. This process frequently arouses resentment. This is often the case in the elderly who have lost their friends, living with chronic pain, who have memory problems and it is difficult to digest for all the unworthy pathologies accompanying aging.
Alzheimer’s disease, narcissistic perversion as well as other neurological conditions can be unpleasant behaviors in old people. When the person suffers from dementia, it is essential to remember that they will not have total control of their actions or their words. Focus on the positives, ignore the negatives, and take a break as often as possible by finding respite services. When you are overwhelmed with the older person, you should prepare to do something else that you enjoy or call another individual to let off steam.
Often, elders reserve their most unpleasant behavior for family members or other close people. With this in mind, it may be necessary to hire home caregivers or consider day treatments for them. Mean and angry behaviors may not show up in front of strangers. This will make it easier for you to get a much-needed break while other people care for your loved one.