If your elderly loved one is fond of arguing, normal conversations can quickly get out of hand. Here are some ideas for bringing the situation back to a normal level.
Take a Deep Breath
You need to have a moment before you deal with the next installment from a loved one who likes to fight. Also, the oxygen helps your brain function so that you don’t say something that instigates a worse situation. You might need more than one deep breath, so take your time. Some people even find that counting to five or to ten helps quite a bit.
Don’t Reward Bad Behavior
When you jump into the argument with your loved one, you’re rewarding the bad behavior. You’re carrying on what your loved one has started. Instead, respond with short verbal responses and a neutral conversational tone. If you show you’re upset or irritated, you’re taking the bait. Eventually, your loved one is going to catch on that she doesn’t get the interactions she wants when she’s doling out bad behavior.
Do Reward Better Behavior
What you can do is reward behavior that is better than the bad behavior you’re trying to eradicate. When your loved one does interact with you politely or doesn’t try to start a fight, give that conversation or interaction your full attention. Respond fully in those situations and ensure that you indicate with your words, tone, and behavior that this is something you’re willing to interact with regularly.
Take a Break
Dealing with someone who constantly wants to start a fight is exhausting in the extreme. You have to take regular breaks or you’re going to burn yourself out. Hire home care providers regularly to take over for you. Talk with other family members about tasks they can help your loved one with. If your loved one is argumentative with everyone, it might be time to share the wealth anyway. Do things you enjoy so that when you come back, you’re refreshed and able to deal with the situation again.
If the situation continues to get worse, talk to your loved one about seeing a counselor together. She may not want to go, but at least you’ve tried.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Paradise, PA, contact the caring staff at Extended Family Care of Lancaster. Call today at (717) 205-2174.
A long-time resident of Lancaster County, Mary Lynne enjoys spending time with her husband Terry, and their 3 horses and collies. The countless hours of caring for her client and employee-based “family” at work and at home can truly depict the selfless character of Mary Lynne Heller. Mary Lynne is a Google Verified Author
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