When we think of temper tantrums, we think of small children or teenagers acting out to get what they want. That is why it is unsettling and embarrassing to see a parent or elderly loved one have a temper tantrum. A temper tantrum is a loss of mental balance or composure accompanied by an outburst of anger. A caregiver should be prepared to deal with and handle the situation appropriately.
There are several reasons why aging seniors throw a temper tantrum:
- Elderly adults with Alzheimer’s or dementia will often have temper tantrums as a result of the personality change related to the condition.
- Certain medications can alter a person’s personality causing them to express their frustration with outbursts of anger.
- The senior is spoiled and wants to get his or her own way.
There isn’t much that a home care provider can do if they are dealing with an elder who has dementia or Alzheimer’s. In fact, you can expect outbursts to happen and engaging them in an argument is only going to cause more anxiety and make matters worse. You can talk to the doctor to see if there is anything they recommend, or can prescribe to help with anxiety, but remaining patient and calm is about all you can do.
Each person responds differently to medication and many times can have a negative effect. If you notice odd behavior or sudden outbursts after a new medication has been prescribed, contact the doctor and the prescription will most likely be adjusted, or changed.
It’s painful and hurtful to an in-home care provider when a parent or loved one throws a tantrum for no apparent reason other than to impose a guilt trip to get what they want. This happens many times to caregivers who take some time for themselves, who say no, or who aren’t available 24/7 to be at a person’s beck and call.
What can you do in this situation?
- Don’t engage in the temper tantrum. Leave the room or walk away but make it clear that you won’t be taken on a guilt trip.
- Set aside time for yourself each day and eventually your loved one will come to accept and respect that you are important too.
As a caregiver, dealing with temper tantrums can be difficult. It is important to be at peace with yourself even when you make a mistake. Accept that you are doing the best that you can and be confident. Don’t let a loved one guilt you into putting your needs on the back burner. You are important too!
If you have any follow-up questions, please contact us (310) 400-6869…we are always here to assist;You are Important to Us!