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They Are Not Children: Avoiding Correcting During Your Elderly Care Journey with Your Seniors

Elderly Care in Vero Beach FL

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, combative, aggressive, and other difficult behaviors are extremely common among seniors who are dealing with this type of dementia. These behaviors Elderly-Care-in-Vero-Beach-FLare their response to a world around them that no longer makes sense, that is frightening and anxiety-causing, and may include a tremendous amount of pain, discomfort, and unmet needs that they are not able to express properly. When you experience these and other confusing or unsettling behaviors from your senior with Alzheimer’s disease it is easy to feel compelled to correct her and try to “fix” her behaviors. Being a truly compassionate and effective caregiver, however, means recognizing that your senior is not a child and does not need to be corrected, but cared for and supported.

Correcting your elderly loved one may be an instinct, but it can actually make the situation worse. Correcting your parent can make the situation seem confrontational and frightening, putting her even more on edge so that the behaviors might intensify. Instead, you must be prepared to address these behaviors compassionately, respectfully, and supportively so that you can defuse the situation and move past it successfully.


Use these tips to help you confront difficult or improper behaviors in your loved one without correcting her:

  • Know it is not her fault. When you start to correct her senior or tell her that what she is doing is “wrong”, step back and remind yourself that she is not doing these things on purpose and is not trying to make your life difficult. Whether she is telling you the same story over and over again, putting things away in the wrong places around the house, or being combative, you should remember that she is not truly responsible for them. Reminding yourself of this can help you to remember that correcting her will have no real benefit and may actually worsen the situation.
  • Pick your battles. Even without correcting you will need to find a way to manage some of your parent’s behaviors. This does not mean, however, that you have to try to modify every situation. Your mother may want to brush her hair with a fork, but as long as the fork is clean and she is not doing it at the table, she is not really hurting anyone so it may not be worth the argument trying to stop her. If she insists on going out into the cold in her bathing suit, however, you will need to step in to protect her.
  • Distract her. Often the best way to get past a difficult situation is to move past that situation. Distracting your senior will help to direct her energy to something else, helping to end the negative behavior without creating a confrontational situation. For example, when your mother picks up the fork to style her hair, give her a few moments and then tell her how beautiful she looks. Encourage her to go look at her hair in the mirror or offer to paint her nails or do her makeup for her. After she puts the fork down, simply take it away and put it in the dishwasher without mentioning it. The situation is over and your mother will feel better about herself rather than upset or anxious.


If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Vero Beach, FL, please contact the caring staff at Atlantic In-Home Care today. Call (772) 202-3006 for information.