How Do You Deal With An Angry Parent In A Nursing Home?

Sometimes age and health issues work together to create some angry parents that would never have behaved like that in the past.

How Do You Deal With An Angry Parent In A Nursing Home?

They may become more demanding, frustrated, and aggressive which can take a big toll on your life, even if they are being looked after in a nursing home.

Unfortunately, the person caring for an older parent is frequently the target. So how do you deal with an angry parent in a nursing home? 

What Causes Your Parent To Get Angry?

Whether your parent exhibits a single or a series of behaviors, there is usually a cause for the shift.

Some behaviors are tied to the developing aches and pains of old age, while others are a sickness in their own right, and yet others may be side effects of drugs.

Dementia, for example, can cause agitation, sadness, psychosis, delusions, and hallucinations. Delusions about their caregivers or relatives are common, and they might include paranoia, mistrust, and accusations.

These symptoms may be accompanied by an inability to identify familiar faces, which is another sign of some kinds of dementia, and the combination may be difficult to live with. 

Alzheimer’s symptoms might also include apathy, hallucinations, dysphoria, and anxiety. Diabetes can result in excessive exhaustion and irritability, whereas arthritic pain can result in sleep loss and irritability.

Other things that may affect your parent’s behavior include certain degenerative diseases such as brain tumors, stroke, and head injuries.

Other conditions impacting the brain psychologically can alter their behavior as well as depression, stress, insomnia, and general emotional distress. 

Infections like meningitis, syphilis, encephalitis, and metabolic issues like malnutrition, dehydration, liver and kidney failure, and hypothyroidism can also have an impact that will make them act differently. 

Finally, if your parent has used certain substances that were either prescribed to them or were abused then they might behave in a more aggressive manner. 

Not all habits are harmful to one’s health. Some are simply the result of a sense of loss of control, independence, and capacity.

Perhaps anger and resentment are emotions to feeling estranged from relatives after relocating to an assisted living home.

Being unable to live independently can be embarrassing for your parent, and some actions may be a way for them to cope.

Some actions may appear unreasonable or unneeded from the outside, but they may be a method for your parent to cope with all the changes in his or her life.

How To Deal With An Angry Parent In A Nursing Home?

Try to figure out what’s causing their rage. Aging is a difficult process. It can cause animosity in seniors who are dealing with physical pain, the loss of friends, having memory problems, and all the other unpleasant aspects of aging.

These behaviors can also be caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other kinds of dementia.

When dealing with dementia, it is critical to realize that the patient does not have complete control over their words or actions. The finest thing you can do as a caretaker is to not take it personally.

Focus on the good, disregard the unpleasant, and arrange respite care as often as possible to give yourself a break from caring. Take a nice walk, do something you enjoy, or phone a buddy to express your feelings.

Elders frequently reserve their worst conduct for people closest to them, such as family members. In this instance, hiring in-home care or considering adult day care may be advantageous.

Mean, aggressive behaviors may not emerge in front of others, and you’ll receive a much-needed respite while others take care of your loved one.

Is The Nursing Home Equipped To Deal With Your Angry Parent? 

Is The Nursing Home Equipped To Deal With Your Angry Parent? 

Staff in an assisted living facility for individuals with dementia should be especially capable of dealing with aggressiveness in dementia patients.

In fact, how a memory care home handles aggressive individuals is a solid indicator of whether it’s the ideal place for your loved one.

If workers appear irritated by aggressiveness or dismissive, they aren’t good for mom or dad.

There are ways that you can tell if the nursing home that your parent is staying at is equipped for handling angry outbursts and erratic behavior. 

Here are some of the things that you should look out for: 

Staff should be getting familiar with their patients and treating them like friends.

Forming these close bonds with the residents will allow them to have a much better idea of how their mind works and what makes them calm down.

It will also make the residents much more comfortable as they know that they can trust and confide in their carers. 

The care home should encourage communication between the resident and their family. If the nursing home is refusing to let you talk with your parent or makes it very difficult to do so then it is not the right place. 

Any incident that your parent has such as an aggressive outburst or meltdown should be clearly documented so that they can start to recognize triggers and patterns, making it easier to avoid in the future. 

Another approach to determining if a facility is capable of dealing with dementia-related aggressiveness is to pay a visit in the evening when residents are fatigued and the shift from daylight to supper to preparing for sleep can be challenging.

Keep an eye out for personnel asking residents questions, conversing with them, and responding promptly but gently if an aggressive episode arises.

You should also ask if the staff have personnel training and continuing education is provided on a regular basis, and do they learn skills for dealing with violent conduct in residents?

These homes have regulations prohibiting inhabitants from acting harmfully to themselves or others. As explained above, lashing out physically or verbally may be considered risky conduct and may result in eviction.

This is why it’s critical to understand a residence’s aggressive conduct policy. When does aggressive conduct become unmanageable and become a problem?

Memory care homes nearly always have the power to refuse or expel someone whose activities are deemed dangerous to self or others, so inquire as to what exactly is deemed a risk to self or others.

Is it hazardous to be aggressive verbally? Homes will differ, so it is very important to check these things out. 

When It Becomes Abusive

Seniors will occasionally lash out at the person who is putting forth the most effort to ensure their pleasure and well-being.

If left uncontrolled, the anger and frustration indicated above might escalate to the point of abuse of the caregiver.

Stories of mental, emotional, and sometimes physical abuse of caregivers by family members are all too prevalent.

In certain circumstances, abusive conduct may be traced back to a mental disease, such as narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) or borderline personality disorder (BPD).

In other cases, parents turn on the adult kid who is shown the greatest affection because they feel secure doing so. They do not knowingly abuse this kid or daughter, but rather utilize lashing out to express their feelings unhealthily.

Explain how their actions make you feel.

However, many carers find that talking doesn’t get them very far. If the abuse is verbal or emotional, take a step back and show them how much you care about them.

Bring in outside aid to take over your responsibilities if your loved one requires supervision and support to maintain their safety.

Removing yourself from the situation may send the message that abusive conduct will not be allowed. Your loved one may get a new respect for what you do as a result of the encounter.

In the meantime, you’ll get some much-needed rest.

If physical abuse is the problem, get expert assistance.

This might include calling the police or adult protective services (APS), going to therapy, or permanently transferring your parent’s care to a professional caretaker, court-appointed guardian, or a long-term care facility.

When Your Parent Refuses Assisted Living

The presence of an outsider signals to the senior that their family is unable (or unwilling) to care for them. It also exaggerates their wants and makes them feel vulnerable.

Investigate your loved one’s reasons for refusing in-home care, which may include fear, shame, bitterness, or a combination of the three.

Discuss their feelings with them and work together to develop solutions that everyone can live with.

For example, if your parent is uncomfortable with the idea of allowing a stranger into their house, arrange for them to meet the professional caregiver first in the home care company’s office or at a café for coffee.

Request that your loved one experience home care on a trial basis. Experienced home care agencies understand how to manage circumstances like these, so don’t be afraid to seek their guidance.

Once the elder becomes accustomed to having someone in the house and develop trust with a caregiver, they will be more willing to accept further assistance.

If you’ve tried softly approaching your loved one without success, consider taking a step back for a bit.

When a senior refuses to accept assisted living and feels pressured to do so, it’s easy for them to feel as if they’ve lost control of their lives.

Consider taking a break for a few weeks. This can allow your loved ones time to think about things, assess their position, and possibly come to their own conclusion that they require assisted living.


By staying aware of what your parents need as they get older, you will be able to provide the care that works best for them.

Keeping their nursing home experience as stress-free as possible will make their behavior to manage as long as they are at a facility that is fully trained for this kind of case.

As important as your parent’s wellbeing is, you should also look out for yourself as caring for an angry parent in a nursing home can be both physically and emotionally exhausting.

Taking some time for yourself and doing what makes you happy is vital for keeping a healthy balance.

Eddie Lamb