Tips for Redirecting Your Elderly Loved One if They Are Being Aggressive

As a home health care provider or family caregiver, you might be in a situation where your elderly loved one becomes upset. Maybe you aren’t able to understand what caused them to feel this way. It is important to understand there are a number of reasons why an elderly person can become upset. Oftentimes, it is due to the fact that they feel confused or disoriented. These feelings can be the result of dementia, especially as the disease progresses. However, it could also be from changes in their environment or lifestyle. The best thing you can do as a home care provider or family caregiver is to do your best to redirect the elderly person when they are being aggressive. Here are some tips that might be able to help you handle this type of situation better. 

Therapeutic Lying

Home Care in China Grove, NC: Aggressive Seniors

Therapeutic lying is a technique used by many health care professionals. It is meant to address aggression in a way that helps reduce anger. For example, your elderly loved one might believe their money was taken out of their purse or wallet. You know their money wasn’t taken so you tell them a little white lie. You can do this by simply telling them, “I will call the police to report your money was taken out of your purse. Will this make you feel better?” Of course, this statement is not true. However, it will usually calm an elderly person down. Therapeutic lying might seem a little strange to some people. However, many elder care providers recommend using it in certain situations.  

Environment Changes 

There are times when environment changes can “trigger” an elderly person to become aggressive. Sometimes it is difficult to figure out what change is causing your elderly loved one to feel upset. A few things you can do to determine the cause include the following: 

  • Remove your loved one from their environment 
  • Keep rooms well-lit because, sometimes, dark rooms can create shadows that can increase feelings of confusion and make someone feel upset 
  • Organizing the home because many elderly people feel best when their environment is in order 

If you simply can’t figure out what is making your elderly loved one feel upset, it might be time to consult with their physician to make sure these feelings aren’t due to an illness.  

Changing the Subject  

Have you spoken to your elderly loved one’s doctor and illness has been ruled out? If so, you might try changing the topic whenever your loved one starts feeling aggressive towards you or other family members. For example, if your elderly loved one starts feeling upset while doing the dishes, gently ask them if they would like to go outside for a walk. Fresh air can help a person clear their head and improve mental health. 



It is important to remember that every person is different. Sometimes we all feel upset from time to time. The main thing you can do for your elderly loved one is to be patient. Listen to your elderly loved one and remind them that you will always be there for them. This patience can be just what your elderly loved one needs to get calmed down.  


If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in China Grove, NC, contact the caring professionals at TenderHearted Home Care today. Call us at (704) 612-4132



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