One of the main problems of the older adult is, with age, changes in character development. Explosions of feelings such as sadness, joy and the most common, anger, appear. They also believe they are right in any type of discussion or conversation.
The best way to lead a complicated discussion is with a low tone of voice, without shouting. In the case of an older adult, it is the same. Speak slowly without raising the style, regardless of the reason for the discussion, and be patient with the subject.
One aspect to remember in knowing how to treat complex older adults is that any reason is of the utmost importance for them. They go from being sad, cynical, and angry to happy in minutes.
Look for the reason
Every problem has a reason, so be patient to discover it. It is easy to find the solution and know how to deal with the explosion of emotions that difficult seniors have.
Remember that behaviour changes as age advances; it is not always due to a neurological disease such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s or cerebrovascular disease.
It’s never personal
There are brain changes due to age, reflected in character, either by acquiring customs or by always telling the same story. To deal with complex older adults, never take any discussion personally, triggered by a television channel, a meal after hours or not wanting to take a bath.
How do we treat older people?
Try to understand why they are angry. For this, you have to listen to what they say. It starts with asking why what they want us to do and how they want us to help them.
Put yourself in their position, it’s not just listening but understanding, seeing the situation from their work. We know that in the case of dementia, moods are very varied, so before saying that anger is unfounded, show empathy with phrases such as “it shouldn’t be easy”, “you’re right”, and “I’ll help you”.
Sometimes mood swings are due to movement pathologies such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and fibromyalgia rather than neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or senile dementia. However, complex older adults feel that they are useless. In this sense, they look for activities they can do to give them some independence.
Don’t go against them.
In particular, older adults with memory loss often fill the gaps caused by the disease with images, assumptions, or thinking that they have performed a specific action without doing so.
The behaviour of the elderly is based on those stories that, although they are not valid for us, they are. They are not lying, they think they have completed that task, but due to some distraction, they do not finish it.
So the word “No” reduce it to the maximum, study the whole panorama. If you must complete the action, do it. If the immediate solution is not in your hands, calmly and patiently show him what happened.
Treat him as an equal
Remember that you are with someone older than you, not a child. An issue that often triggers changes in the behaviour of the elderly is treating them as if they were children. This causes them to become defensive and lose confidence in you since they feel that their personality is being stolen from them. Respect is something essential, and that is a value that always accompanies older adults.
Look for physical and mental activities.
Physical activities such as walking, dancing, gardening, housework, and simple exercises according to the health status of the problematic elderly help to drain extra energy and avoid outbreaks of aggressiveness.
There are mental exercises and activities such as reading, listening to music, and board games, which not only activate memory but also distract the mind from sad memories. They are widely used in pathologies such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or dementia. Any activity is good for treating complex older adults but depending on their physical and psychological state in which they are.
Schedule walks, visits from family and friends, and outdoor activities that allow you to socialise with other individuals that make you feel free.
Take time for yourself.
Being aware of another person is not easy, whether an older adult or a child; the effort, time and dedication they need are exhausting.
How much does eldercare cost per hour?
To treat difficult older people, rest is necessary. Dedicating yourself 24/7 to someone brings both physical and mental wear, putting your health at risk but also that of your family member.
When we reach a certain level of fatigue, errors begin to arrive, you will not be able to keep up with the changes in the behaviour of the elderly, the medicine schedule is not followed to the letter, and even accidents such as falls or blows appear. Not be fully alert.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Who better than a professional knows how to treat complex older adults? You are not in a mistake; you are not a bad son, grandson, or nephew, just for seeking help in centres specialised in the behaviour of the elderly.
If the management of an older adult in the family is complicated by health or time issues, the ideal is to request the assistance of a professional. They have a broader knowledge and experience to provide the comfort and well-being that our family members need.