Things that Can Cause Seniors to Erupt in Anger

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Common Causes of Angry Outbursts in the Elderly in Edmonton, AB

Witnessing a senior loved one you’re caring for have an angry outburst can be unsettling. While emotional outbursts are often associated with younger children, they can occur at any time in life for one reason or another. Continue reading to learn more about the common causes of angry outbursts in the elderly and what you can do to help.


Dementia-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease can affect parts of the brain that control emotions and perceptions. For this reason, older adults with dementia may react with outbursts if they’re confused or scared or if they perceive something as a threat. Also, seniors with advanced dementia may have outbursts if they can no longer verbalize their needs. Outbursts for this reason may be addressed by:

• Checking to see if there’s a physical source of discomfort
• Remaining calm and speaking in a relaxed, comforting tone
• Changing the subject or directing your loved one toward an enjoyable activity
• Removing yourself from the immediate location if you need a moment to calm down

Symptoms such as agitation, confusion, anger, and frustration are common in elderly people with dementia. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Edmonton seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

Medication Side Effects

Antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and certain anti-anxiety drugs are among the medications that may contribute to angry outbursts. If your parent’s outbursts began after medications were prescribed or changed, talk to his or her doctor. It’s often possible to make appropriate adjustments to reduce medication-related outbursts.


Angry outbursts are sometimes due to increased anxiety. This may be the case if your loved one is the type of person who usually keeps certain feelings or concerns bottled up. The potential problem with doing this is that unexpected, and often unrelated, things sometimes trigger outbursts. If you suspect this may be what’s going on, possible solutions include:

• Initiating an open, honest dialogue to discuss underlying issues or concerns
• Getting some help from an impartial third party, such as a friend, relative, or trusted medical professional
• Exploring options with therapy or counseling
• Suggesting deep breathing and other relaxation techniques

The physical and mental challenges that accompany aging can make it difficult for seniors to handle everyday tasks, which can put their safety and health at risk. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of senior care. Edmonton Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.


Depression in seniors isn’t normal, but it can result in angry outbursts when it’s a serious issue. This can happen if your loved one has lost his or her spouse or is having difficulty handling other personal matters or adjustments. Therapy and medication are ways depression can be addressed in the elderly.

Quality of Life Concerns

Aging adults may be short-tempered if they’re frustrated or on edge about quality of life issues. You may need to do a little digging or gentle prodding in a nonjudgmental way to get to the heart of a problem of this nature. Possibilities include:

• Worsening health issues
• Physical limitations that could also be limiting social interactions
• How care is being provided by well-meaning family members

With any of these quality of life concerns, there are possible solutions that could ease angry outbursts. Concerns about care may be eased by having a family meeting to give your loved one a chance to express care preferences and get everyone on the same page. With health-related issues, a discussion with your loved one’s doctor could be beneficial, and senior transportation services or home modifications may ease concerns about getting around and staying active. 

Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted in-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at (780) 490-7337 today


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