Dealing With Senior Anger Issues

Feb 20, 2017

Dealing With Senior Anger Issues

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It’s no secret as we get older we can become a little more grumpy. Seniors can become irritable, stubborn, and downright nasty sometimes. However, it’s important to be able to tell the difference between grumpiness and serious senior anger issues. You or your loved one will have both good and bad days, so it’s important to be able to handle especially tense situations. While dealing with these issues take a considerable amount of empathy and patience, it’s important to remember that aging can be a very humbling process, and it’s always good to have someone helping you deal with emotions.

Reasons For Senior Anger Issues


One of the biggest reasons that seniors will have mood swings is simply because they become frustrated. As we age, we slowly begin to realize that our mind and body just aren’t what they used to be. Many seniors assume that letting others help them perform daily tasks is a sign of weakness or loss of dignity, so they will often become frustrated and argumentative.

Confusion can also lead to frustration. Often, if you or your loved one misplaces something, or forgets what they were doing, they might become frustrated or hostile towards others, so make sure to talk through any issues that may arise.

Lifestyle Change

Many seniors will simply have trouble adjusting to retirement. A feeling of restlessness or inactivity can cause frustration in many, and they might feel as though they’re not “pulling their weight” in the family. A lack of structure can also play a factor when it comes to senior anger issues. The typical 9 to 5 routine has been replaced with idleness and uncertainty, which can cause major issues. Structure quickly becomes an important part of curbing these senior anger issues.

Substance Abuse

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependencies, almost 50% of nursing home residents have an alcohol-related issue. This alarming number also correlates to the amount of seniors with anger issues. Substance abuse plays a very important role when it comes to senior anger issues, so it’s important to address any drug or alcohol issues immediately.

Handling Senior Anger Issues

Don’t Take It Personally

One of the most important things to remember as you deal is senior anger issues are that your loved one most likely isn’t specifically taking their anger out on you. As we age, it can often become difficult to express our emotions, so they might instead lash out simply because they don’t know what else to do. Make sure to sit down with your senior so you can both try to come up with a plan of action so everyone remains happy and calm. Remind them that you’re trying to help them and that it can be very difficult to work together when they project their frustration onto others. Working together will play a key role in making sure your loved one is dealing with their emotional issues.

Find Them an Outlet

Often seniors just need an outlet for their frustration. We all have something we lean on when we’re feeling angry or frustrated. Whether it’s working out at the gym, or putting together a puzzle, it’s important for seniors to have a way to express themselves when they’re feeling angry or frustrated. Some great outlets for seniors can be art therapy or finding a furry companion to take care of.

Get a Doctor’s Opinion

One of the first things you will want to do when dealing with senior anger issues is to have a doctor examine your loved one. Anger and frustration can often stem from pain or discomfort, so taking care of any specific ailments can put your loved one in a better mood and improve their physical and mental health. In many cases, irritability or anger issues can often be symptom of bigger mental health issues like Alzheimer’s or Dementia. This can be a difficult situation, but it’s important to remember that you’re looking out for your loved one’s best interest. A doctor’s visit could help identify preexisting issues that can be treated. Through medication and therapy, a doctor can help control senior anger issues.

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