How to Help an Elderly Loved One Cope with Anger

Elder Care in Guelph

It is not uncommon for elderly adults to experience episodes of anger.  If your loved one has become less independent due to health issues, it can be very frustrating for them which may lead to Elder-Care-in-Guelphincreased feelings of anger.  In addition, some conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and depression can cause episodes of anger and angry outbursts.  Witnessing your loved one’s feelings of anger can be distressing and upsetting.  In addition, having frequent feelings of anger can decrease your loved one’s quality of life.  While it is normal for anyone to feel angry from time to time, frequent angry outbursts can be concerning.  If you are a caregiver for a loved one who frequently has episodes of anger, read on for some tips and strategies for coping.


Talk to a Doctor

If your loved one’s anger episodes are a new concern, it is very important for you to encourage them to visit a doctor.  Anger episodes can be a symptom of several serious medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression.  In addition, if your loved one has suddenly become more angry and aggressive after suffering a stroke or a head injury, it is important to seek medical attention right away.


Consider Therapy

If your loved one feels as though they cannot control their anger and is suffering from decreased quality of life because of it, their doctor may recommend therapy or counseling.  By working with a professional therapist, your loved one may learn strategies for how to control strong emotions and feelings of anger.  In addition, they may be able to learn techniques for calming the mind, relaxing, and letting go of stress.


Keep Communication Open

Caregiving for a loved one who has frequent outbursts of anger can be stressful, upsetting, and challenging, to say the least.  However, it is important for you to remain calm and not begin arguing with your loved one, which can make the situation escalate.  Wait for a time when they have “cooled down” to talk with them about their feelings.  Keep communication open and encourage them to try and tell you what is bothering them so that you can work out solutions together.


Encourage Exercise

Studies have shown that exercise can have many benefits for mental health and it can help many people to control their symptoms of depression (which includes anger).  Encourage your loved one to start exercising regularly by doing a physical activity that they enjoy such as walking, water aerobics, or riding a stationary bike.  Be sure that they get a doctor’s approval before starting a new exercise routine.


If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Guelph, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at 905.709.1767.



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