Why your aging parents may treat you badly

Discussing Difficult Dilemas

Sometimes aging parents treat those closest to them the worst.

Sometimes people allow the worst sides of their personality to be seen only by those closest to them. Sometimes aging parents act controlled and even tempered to nearly everyone else, they will be angry with you, berate you, and rage at you, their adult child care giver. Professionals have considered this question of why your aging parents may treat you badly. Perhaps your vision of your parents’ “golden years” has become a nightmare of unhappiness. 

 AgingCare.com published an article exploring this topic. 
It’s not really news that people tend to be their worst with the people they love. Generally, this is thought to be the case because people feel safe enough with family to just “let it all hang out.” Their anger at their circumstances, which may or may not have to do with these family members, is the real cause. Other times, the behavior is because the person has an abusive personality with deeper problems lurking.
 Whatever the reason, it’s not good. We owe the people we love our best selves. Not our “dressed for company” selves, but our compassionate, honest selves. However, most humans are very imperfect creatures. They will take out their frustrations on people they feel won’t desert them.”
AgingCare.com offers these suggestions from a woman who cared for her difficult aging mother to help you manage the anger leveled at you: 

The first step in handling abuse from an elderly parent is understand that the elder feels frustrated – like their independence is slipping away and death is right around the corner. 

I think it helps if the caregiver can do her best to not take personally every insult. It also helps to be able to detach with love.  

I needed to stand up for myself. When my mom got verbally abusive, even though I understood that it was frustration with her situation that caused this behavior, I learned that I still needed to take care of myself. I (sort of) learned a tough lesson there. Even people with dementia can often sense when they have crossed the line. If the caregiver shows that she won’t be treated in an abusive manner, the elder will often behave – at least for awhile.”

 The bottom line is that

 “you don’t have to take abuse. If they become abusive, you can calmly say you won’t be treated like that and walk away. If the elders can’t be left alone, then you need to send for reinforcements. But most likely, when you stand up for yourself, acknowledging their pain and frustration, but saying that while those are things you can’t fix, you are doing your best, and if that isn’t good enough they will have to find someone else.”

 Read the full article here.   

It can be disheartening to care for your aging parents when their reaction seems to be only anger. You may never fully understand why your aging parents may treat you badly but hopefully you can learn how to care for your aging parents in spite of their attitudes.

Visit our website for additional information and encouragement about the important role you serve as care giver to your aging parents. 

CARING FOR MY PARENTS | Life, Love, Tears & Laughs


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