Hurting Inside: Dealing with Difficult Behavior from an Elderly Family Member

You have most likely experienced being seriously hurt before, and during that time of suffering, you might have wanted to do something that would also harm others in the process. It can be the same as the elderly family members that you may have. Because of their age as well as their current condition, they might be more inclined to engage in hurtful behavior when they’re suffering themselves. They may be more difficult to deal with, but this is the time when they need your love and understanding the most. Keep these points in mind when you’re interacting with them.

When They Feel Anger

One of the choices that your loved one may have while they’re going through senior rehabilitation in Worcester, MA, is to be angry. There’s already a sense of helplessness when people go through the challenges of old age, what more if they suffer from an injury while in that phase of life? It doesn’t help when emotional issues that they’ve had since childhood get aggravated as well. One of the better ways to handle this sort of outburst from your elderly family member is to give them a way to express it without having to hurt anyone around them. For example, you could encourage them to take up art, have them listen to music, or let them engage in writing.

When They Take Advantage

While letting hurt people rant is okay at times, some people might go towards the extreme and become abusive towards others. And depending on your relative’s disposition, they might engage in this activity as well. What can break one’s heart is that sometimes, they don’t know what they’re doing until it’s too late. For this kind of behavior, it’s best that you know how to recognize the signs that they are doing it and stop them from dealing any more damage. You have to be able to tell them what is happening and how it’s affecting others and their relationships.

When They Want to Hide

Elderly woman checking the flowers

On the other side of the spectrum, your elderly family member may respond to their situation in fear. After all, serious injuries can be a terrifying experience, even when you’re in the prime of life. Sometimes, you might feel that you want just to hide away or shut down if you’re in that situation, and it goes without saying that they might experience that as well. For a start, you can help them keep a distance from what triggers their fear. Later on, if they are ready to face their fears, you could support them and let them slowly get exposed and used to it.

Getting seriously hurt can bring out the worst in anyone, but it can also bring out the best in them. It’s up to the person to decide how they react and respond to the situation. If your elderly family member decides to go the negative route, what you can do is to keep on showing them the love and care that they need. Just because they’re hurting the ones around them doesn’t mean that you should hurt them back.