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14 Difficult Elderly Behaviors and How to Deal with Them

Does your parent or loved one exhibit difficult elderly behaviors? Do they behave in ways that you don’t expect them to? Perhaps they used to be easy-going and mild-mannered and suddenly they act up. Have these difficult elderly behavior left you flustered, frustrated, embarrassed, hurt, exhausted, or helpless?

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Here are some of the most common difficult elderly behaviors that many family members and professional caregivers experience:

Common Difficult Elderly Behaviors

  1. Resisting good hygiene such as brushing teeth, taking a bath or changing into clean clothes
  2. Refusing help or caregivers such as being difficult to them
  3. Overly and constantly complaining
  4. Aggression (physical and verbal)
  5. Clingy or possessive behavior
  6. Isolation, not wanting to see other people
  7. Refusing to eat properly, even throwing food
  8. Refusing to take medication or go to the doctor
  9. Paranoia and hallucinations
  10. Getting forgetful and confused
  11. Disorganization
  12. Hoarding behavior
  13. Repetitiveness
  14. Pretending or lying, such as pretending to be sick or in pain

The solutions to these behavior are these 4 steps:

1. Get professional help. There may be underlying conditions behind the difficult elderly behavior. Take them to a doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist for professional evaluation.

2. React properly. Don’t make the behavior or situation worse, so you have to be empathetic and to react properly to what is happening. Don’t take their behavior personally.  Instead, understand where the behavior comes from, or what the triggers are, so you know how to better cope and prepare.

3. Try therapy. It doesn’t have to be expensive. A simple walk in the park and breath of fresh air could be enough. What’s important is you calm them down or keep them occupied.

4. Try potential medication. If the behavior can’t be helped, perhaps medication may be necessary. Talk to your physician about this.


For help caring for your elderly loved one, call or text us at Big Hearts: 09565012540.

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