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Five Tips for Dealing with Aggressive Reactions from Your Senior

If your senior is using aggressive language or behaviors in response to you, that’s a problem. She can hurt herself, or even you, by having an outburst. It’s much better for you to find alternative ways to deal with these reactions both now and in the future.

Keep Your Cool

If your first response to aggressive behavior from your senior is negative or aggressive, that’s going to exacerbate the entire situation. No matter what your elderly family member does or says, it’s really important that you’re the one to keep your cool. If you’re able to do that, you can de-escalate more situations than you might think possible at first. One factor that can help with this is to repeat to yourself that it’s not personal.

Avoid Confronting Her

When your senior is aggressive in response to something that you’ve done or said, avoid using confrontational body language or words to respond to her. If your reflexive reaction is to confront, you need to figure out how to break that reflex so that you can use other responses.

Use Validation

One of the responses that you can use is validation. It feels like you’re lying to her, but what you’re really doing when you validate your senior is acknowledging how she’s feeling rather than what she’s doing. You might respond by telling her that a situation she’s angry about is indeed awful or that you completely understand why she’s upset.

Offer Alternatives

If your senior’s responses are connected more with anger management than with cognitive changes, you might want to give her a more acceptable outlet for her anger. For instance, some people like using stress toys when they’re frustrated. Giving her something that is acceptable for her to punch or to manipulate can help to channel that energy she normally puts toward her angry and aggressive reactions.

Get Some Help for You

You really need help in order to deal with this sort of situation on an ongoing basis. Managing angry reactions takes a lot out of you and can seriously drain the energy that you have available for being a caregiver. Take time away, even if that means hiring senior care providers. Your senior might benefit from a break from your company, too, which can mean that things are a lot calmer when you do come back.

It’s really hard to see your senior responding to you and to others in ways that she might never have in the past. Changes to her health, and to her ability to think, can be a huge part of this situation. Do what you can for your senior and try not to take any of this personally.

If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Brunswick, ME please contact the caring staff at CareTree Healthcare today. Call today! 207-899-0774

Mary Fowler

Managing Director at CareTree Healthcare
Mary Fowler is the Managing Director at CareTree Healthcare.

The story behind CareTree is one of empathy, caring and compassion. Every team member, from our key office staff to our network of caregivers, has experienced first hand the frustration, confusion, and helplessness that families go through when watching a loved one lose independence and pride with aging. Everyone on our team is here to make a difference in the lives of families throughout Maine, ensuring you never have to experience those same feelings and always feel that you are part of the CareTree family.

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