What you don’t realize is that their foul language may be due to Alzheimer’s. The use of profanity, as well as other negative behavior, may come up in old age as a sign of the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s. This is because their inhibitions start to diminish, and their thought patterns change. Their behaviors can also change.
Here’s what you can do to cope when an elderly parent uses profanity.
1. Calmly detach. Create an emotional shield wherein you desensitize yourself from the profanity or bad words. Don’t take what they say personally, but instead try to figure out the reason for their expressions. Most likely, profanity is used by elderly to express a frustration or discomfort that they want to reduce or eliminate.
2. De-escalate. Once you get to the bottom of the problem, make sure to solve this or get rid of it right away. Calmly talk to your elderly parent and distract them towards something they may be interested in. You can even resort to a little “bribery” like offering them a treat that they like, like a little chocolate or ice cream, to calm them down.
3. Let it blow over. Sometimes, there really is nothing you can do but to let your elderly parent just express what they feel. Let the strong emotion blow over and soon enough, they may be back to their old, pleasant selves.
4. Laugh it off. Humor can be a good medicine. Instead of seeing their profanity as a negative or as a hurtful thing, which you shouldn’t because it’s not personal, laugh it off. Find the humor in the situation and your heart will be lighter.