Anger and Resentment - Dealing with a Parents Anger

Anger and Resentment - Dealing with a Parents’ Anger

As most caregivers know, elderly parents have their good days and their bad days.

Sometimes however, stress, grief, financial difficulties, physical health and other reasons generate an overall sense of dissatisfaction in life that often leads to differing mood swings. Sometimes, this is fleeting, while other times it just seems to build and grow. What's a caregiver of the elderly to do?

Dealing with anger and resentment requires plenty of patience, understanding, and the ability to put oneself in another person's shoes. It also means being educated regarding resources in order to restore balance and emotional peace, not only for the parent, but for caregivers and other family members.

Reasons for Anger

Elderly parents may be agitated for a multitude of reasons. Decreasing abilities, discomfort and fear caused by illness and disease processes, gradual decline in mental cognition, and feelings of helplessness are often causes for anger.

The most common signs of building emotions in a parent may include but are not limited to:

  • Impatience
  • Sarcasm
  • Unwillingness to participate in daily events or schedules
  • Withdrawal
  • Increased complaints
elderly anger and resentment

Each caregiver most likely knows and recognizes differences in behavior, attitude and patience levels in their loved one. Watch for signs that your parent may be growing increasingly frustrated with his or her situation. Has your normally pleasant mother suddenly taken to grumbling and snapping at others? Does your dad start shouting at the least disagreement or issue that might touch on personal topics?

Are You Completely Stressed Out?

What issues are difficult for you when caring for Mom and Dad? Click here to see what others are saying and to share your own experience.

Be observant of your parent and be willing to communicate and to encourage communication. Many seniors are especially hesitant to discuss certain topics with their children, including worries about their future, their mortality, or their financial situation. However, if you notice your parent growing increasingly anxious, impatient or frustrated, it's up to you to find out why and potentially reduce anger and resentment.

Bring up certain topics when both of you are calm. Don't expect to get all the information out of your parent in one sitting, but gradually warm up conversations to tackle various issues and most importantly of all, stay calm as this is not the time to have anger and resentment.

Dealing with Difficult Elderly Parents

It's extremely difficult to put specific labels on what may make an elderly parent difficult.

For example, has your mother or father always been extremely patient? Has your parent always been opinionated? Such factors must be taken into consideration when judging whether a parent's behavior transitions from merely annoying to increasingly difficult.

It can be said that most elderly parents are extremely fearful of becoming a burden to those around him. Many of them react to such situations with anger and resentment, not at their loved ones, but anger with themselves and their helplessness to do anything about the situation. Pain, illness, depression and fear can be debilitating and translate as anger.

However, such behavior is usually not a cause for alarm. What is cause for alarm however is the refusal to accept help, to be left alone, or to have anyone around them. Such individuals often complain about everything; the food they eat, the clothes they wear, the schedules they keep, and life itself.

These issues may come across as self-directed or at caregivers. For example, your father may grumble about your choice of clothes every time he sees you. Your mother complains that you don't visit often enough, or that you don't care about her declining health.

She may complain about the dinner you just cooked. Instead of taking such comments personally, try to understand what prompted them in the first place and then walk a mile in your elderly parent's shoes.

For example, your mother might complain that you don't visit her often enough because she's afraid of being left alone. Your dad may grumble about your clothes because he realizes he can't wear button-down shirts or even tie his own shoes anymore. Your mom may complain about the dinner you just cooked because she's upset, disappointed and depressed that she can't cook anymore.

Asking for Help

If your parent seems to complain all the time and refuses to participate in daily tasks such as bathing, cooking, or eating, it's time to ask for professional help.

 Talk to your parent's health care provider and ask for advice. You may also want to consider a counselor or a psychiatrist for your elderly parent. Don't be afraid to discuss your concerns with your parent and then take it from there. Understanding where this comes from and how it may present itself is one of the best ways caregivers can understand the often conflicting emotions of their parents.

Anger and Resentment back to Elderly Parents Anger and Resentment

Do you resent being the "chosen one" caregiver to your elderly parent?

Are you angry that your siblings do not contribute as much as they should? Mom and Dad expecting too much?

Read below what others are saying and make a comment on their subject or create your own to get advice from other readers in the group!

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