How to Manage Difficult Behaviors In The Elderly - 24|7 Nursing Care

How to Manage Difficult Behaviors In The Elderly

As adults age, they may begin to experience various mood swings. Irritability, demonstrating poor character (e.g., lapses in judgment or saying or making decisions they would usually not make), and depression are some of the emotional disturbances that seniors can endure. This sudden behavior change may catch caregivers off guard because it is not consistent with the person’s normal personality. You may ask yourself, “What is causing these mood swings?” In this article, we will explain some of the main causes of these behaviors and mood swings, as well as how you as a caregiver can alleviate or avoid them.

Why Do Seniors Have These Mood Swings?

It’s not only physical problems and pain that affect them; their emotional problems also play a significant role in their changes in mood and attitude. Many of these feelings can lead to sadness, severe anger, isolation, and aggressiveness, among other difficulties. Several factors contribute to older adults experiencing all of these emotions.

  • Feelings Of Being Insufficient

Many times, seniors live in a state of denial. This often makes them angry due to their lack of autonomy, physical capacity, and movement of their bodies. Because of this, their activities have become limited, which makes them feel useless and often makes them feel like they have become a burden on the family.

Creating small tasks they can do around the house that make them feel included can benefit them, make them feel more comfortable, and make them feel like they are part of something by contributing to the household.


  • Loss Of A Loved One

There is no doubt that watching people die is a difficult process for anyone. A person’s death can be a reason why your loved one is experiencing a stage of mourning; this can also lead your loved one to feel a sense of sadness and anger.

During this time, the best thing you can do is talk to your family member and spend time with them during this difficult moment. Doing activities together and getting out of the house for a bit are good ways to help distract them.


  • Dementia And Delusions

Dementia and delusions can cause a person to become more confused, disoriented, and even delusional and hallucinate. Seniors may feel confused and stressed in this context, resulting in episodes of irritability and anger. Reassure your family member during this time by helping them through their delusions and hallucinations. 

Make sure to ease them away from what they may be seeing or hearing and bring them to a quiet space. Patience is key when handling a family member who may be suffering from this, and the best thing you can do during this is to just listen and reassure them.


  • Physical Pain

Just like how emotional pain can become a huge factor in seniors’ sudden mood swings and irritability, physical pain can also become a factor in these attitudes. We all know that pain affects our emotions, and constantly having this feeling of discomfort, pain, and tiredness brings a bad mood and sadness to the forefront.

The best way to help your family member is by attending to their pains, making them feel comfortable, or at least easing the pain by helping them to bed, and giving their prescribed medication on time or when needed.


How To Be Patient and Help Seniors With These Mood Swings

When caring for a loved one, we cannot be at war with them because of their attitudes or character. We need to help them so that they do not feel that way. The following tips will help you avoid feeling this way:

  • Avoiding situations that will make them irritable
  • Keep them distracted
  • Make them feel strong and independent
  • Hire professional help


The first step to becoming an excellent caregiver is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.

Sometimes we all need a little extra help with our day-to-day lives. Whether due to aging, physical limitations, or both, everyone needs assistance with even the most basic of tasks now and then. Since there’s no place like home, in-home caregivers can be invaluable in ensuring that you or a loved one are comfortable and well taken care of. 24/7 Nursing Care is here to help you by referring caregivers who will provide some of the best care, all in the privacy of your home. Let us help you.

We can be reached at (786) 518-3622 in Miami-Dade or (954) 949-1332 in Broward. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays.