Your definition of bad behaviors can vary when it comes to caregiving and your aging adult. Some of those behaviors, like yelling at you or others, can feel downright abusive. And if you can learn to deal with them in a way that doesn’t encourage them, your senior might just let them go.
Determine What’s Behind the Behavior
There’s almost always something behind the behavior you’re seeing. For instance, if your elderly family member yells at you a lot, she might be frustrated or angry about something else and you’re a convenient target. In some cases, your elderly family member might not fully understand what’s behind why she does some of the things that she does.
Avoid Trying to Control Your Senior
One mistake that’s common is trying to control what your senior is doing and how she’s reacting. The harder that you try to control her actions, the worse the situation is likely to get. Giving her a reason to act out more is not the best solution.
Different Techniques Work at Different Times
You might find that certain technique work well for your elderly family member on one day or in one situation and not so much at a different time. You may need to develop a variety of options you can try that give you some success. For instance, sometimes when your elderly family member starts to yell, you might find that walking away helps. Other times, you might want to try distraction or another approach.
Find Support Where You Can
You need to have a strong support system of your own when your senior is engaging in behaviors that are difficult for you to handle. Joining a support group enables you to meet other caregivers who can help you find techniques and tools that can help. Also, having homecare providers step in for a few hours a week gives you a chance to take a break, which you likely need in order to jump back in.
Try to Keep Your Sense of Humor
Above all, try to keep your sense of humor about the situation. If you’re not able to find some humor in some of what you’re experiencing, it’s going to take more wind out of your sails than you can afford to lose.
Not all behaviors that your senior exhibits are designed just to make you upset. Sometimes she might not know what else to do or how else to express what she’s feeling and so she acts out. Try to put yourself in her shoes and then go from there.
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