Coping with Unreasonable Behavior When Caring for The Elderly
All of us have experienced our children throwing a tantrum while out on a shopping or in public. Even if the parent tries to calm the situation down, in most cases it only worsens it. Parents, as a result, feel embarrassed and you can only sympathize with them. A parent’s emotion is a mixed bag as they would not only feel sorry about it but also call the child everything from moody to spoil. However, the role of caretaker is no different. This sometimes can be more embarrassing and humiliating than a parent-child drama.
If you get used to your job of taking care of an elderly relative or any elderly person for that matter, the whole issue of tantrums can become a part of your job. If you are not accustomed to this sort of a situation, it might be difficult to cope up with. If it happens to be your relative, you have no choice but to cope up with all the tantrums they show up on you. It does not matter how difficult it might turn out to be, you will be left with no choices. There are ways to cope up with these predicaments to
Firstly, it would be nice on your part to research on the source of tantrum rather than telling them how humiliating their behavior is. You must get a little more relaxed about the whole situation and try to understand it better. What the elderly relative is feeling might not even be close to what your frustration is all about. If you multiply yours by ten, it still will not reach the figure of the amount of frustration the elder is going through. Try to imagine yourself being stuck somewhere in your body and having thoughts recurring at the same point preventing from thinking straight. You will end up reacting in the same way as your relative and thus concluding how tough it is.
But all this can help you cope up with the pressure-cooker kind of a situation only to some extent. The unreasonable behavior of these people will provoke more potent feelings in you when it is directed at you in a different manner. There will be no scope for reasoning if this high voltage situation gets personal. You will have to raise your bar and cope up with it. Take breaks from the individual you are taking care of, just for a few moments might help you. If you wish to ignore the behavior you believe is affecting you, then this might even work out for a long time. It can help you have time to gather your thoughts back.
In most cases, the unreasonable and intolerable behavior lasts for only sometime. It is fact that, we must accept, even elderly people can suffer from mental illness and are liable to go through phases just like children do. You will have to fight your way through whatever the case. “Since every person is unique, there is no certain definitive way to solve this problem.” (“Taking Care Of Elderly Relatives – It Is A Pain Only When …”) Listening to music r taking a small walk can calm the situation down. You will see yourself building some resistance to this and suddenly you will start to have the tolerance and patience to cope up with the elder.
As time would fly, you will be experienced enough to spot the tantrums from the subject concerned and simply ignore it when it comes to you. All this will not happen overnight but eventually. You have the upper hand then since you would have figured out what works best for you. Think of the elderly relative as a child if it helps. In fact, it is what they are as treating a child is no rocket science compared to dealing with the adult. If you possess the right temperament the situation can be dealt with ease.
Best Wishes, Coyalita
Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Specialist
See Tomorrow: “Effective Caring for Your Elderly Relatives: Home Help”
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