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Four Ways to Deal with a Dying Senior’s Anger

If your aging family member is angry all the time now that she’s nearing the end of her life, that’s not unusual. There may be a lot that she fears that she’s missing out on and that can translate into anger.

Try to Understand the Feeling

There’s probably a lot that your elderly family member wanted to do with her life. And she probably had a very specific plan for the end of her life. If she’s not living out that plan now, she might be experiencing some understandable anger about those differences. Chronic health issues and painful terminal diseases like cancer can also tend to inspire these types of responses. When you can understand where the anger is coming from, you might find it easier to respond to your senior.

Let Her Be Mad

Anger is not necessarily awful as long as your elderly family member is directing it appropriately. If you’re consistently the recipient of her anger, that’s not healthy for either of you. But it makes perfect sense for her to be angry at her illness or at the stage of life she’s in. Try to find ways to help her direct her anger appropriately. You might find a doll or other stand-in that you can label with the target of her anger. That gives her a concrete item to be angry at instead of you or other family members.

Take Your Own Feelings out of the Equation

One of the most important things that you can do when you’re trying to deal with your senior’s anger is to remove your feelings from the equation. Her anger isn’t about you or anything that you’ve done. That can be difficult to remember, though, especially when you seem to be her most frequent target. Taking time away can help you keep this perspective.

Get Some Help with Processing These Feelings

Even with all of these ideas, it can still be difficult to help your aging family member process her feelings appropriately. Hospice elder care providers can put you in touch with the right resources to help you and your aging adult deal with her anger and grief. This can help her to face the later stages of her life with a better emotional framework.

Your senior’s anger may be perfectly justified, but it can still be difficult for you to face. Make sure that you’re taking care of yourself and that you’re doing what you need to do with your own feelings. When you’re doing that work on your own, it’s a little easier to help your senior process what she’s feeling.

If you or an aging parent are considering hospice elder care in Easton, PA, please contact the caring staff at Serenity Hospice today. Call (215) 867-5405.

Michael Drew, LNHA

Michael Drew LNHA is the administrator of Serenity Hospice PA, servicing the greater Bensalem and Philadelphia areas. In this capacity, he leads and inspires the company’s mission of providing quality and compassionate end-of-life care and supportive services for patients and their families, and to enhance their quality of life. Michael’s hallmark is his genuine concern for patients and his dedication to meeting their needs.
A veteran of providing quality healthcare, Michael has served with distinction in a variety of leadership capacities for nearly two decades, notably as administrator for several Skilled Nursing Facilities in New Jersey. Known as an innovative and solution-oriented individual, Michael has his finger on the pulse on new trends and concepts in providing quality care.