When you work in home care in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, you encounter all sorts of personalities and behavioral phenomena among the elderly. You’d be surprised if you didn’t know already, that seniors can also throw temper tantrums the way children do!
Of course, this is no laughing matter. Moreover, as a caregiver, it is your job to take the lead in handling these tantrums so the rest of the client’s family can follow your example! As an expert in personal cares, what actions can you take that can have a positive effect on the senior with a temper tantrum?
First off, do not match their temper with yours. If you do that, you’ll only inflame the situation further. What you should do instead is to make it clear to them calmly but firmly that you will not engage with them until they cool down. Put some distance between yourself and the client to allow them to cool down for a few minutes.
Once your elderly patient has calmed down, you can then engage in conversation to try and determine what is bothering him or her. Make sure that you take on an assuring tone 100% of the time to avoid triggering another tantrum. Be a good listener too.
If the tantrums are getting too frequent, it’s time to tell the family that they might have to bring their elderly relative over to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist will determine if the tantrums are symptoms of a behavioral problem, or there is a deeper issue that only an expert can coach out of the senior.