What Could Be Making My Elderly Parent with Dementia Angry?

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Anger is a perplexing emotion for family caregivers to decipher when their senior loved ones with dementia lash out. Your loved one may suddenly begin to exhibit anger when you thought everything was fine or tend to be in a foul mood at a specific time of day. Understanding what causes anger in seniors with dementia can help you figure out what to do to bring your loved one back to a better mood. 

Physical Discomfort

Your loved one might not always be able to verbally express when something is wrong. For instance, your parent may be unsure how to describe something as vague as being hungry or having general pain that covers a large part of his or her body. Observe your loved one for signs of physical discomfort, such as squirming in a chair or tugging at his or her clothing. You might be able to ask questions to determine what’s causing the pain. Symptoms such as agitation, confusion, anger, and frustration are common in elderly people with dementia.

Living with a serious health issue such as dementia could impact the ability to age in place safely and comfortably. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Ambience families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.


Seniors with dementia may act out if they get bored. Having nothing to keep them mentally occupied could cause them to ruminate on negative thoughts. Your loved one may also begin to act up to get your attention. Check to see if your loved one needs something to do. Offering a new activity that involves you or a professional caregiver can focus your loved one’s mind on positive things. 

Homecare professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.


People with dementia encounter many frustrations throughout the day. Some may be mad because they can’t get their shirt buttons properly fastened, while others might be frustrated by something as simple as trying to tell a caregiver they’re hungry. Watch to see what your loved one was doing when he or she got mad so you can find ways to make the task easier. Staying calm may ease your loved one’s frustration as you work to find a solution. 

Power Conflicts

At times, old relationship patterns come into play. Your parent may resent you trying to tell him or her what to do or balk at you invading his or her sense of privacy by trying to help with bathing. If you suspect a power play is at work, switching off to another caregiver who isn’t a relative may end the conflict. 

Fatigue and Hunger

Physical health also affects a senior with dementia’s mood. Seniors with dementia tend to exhibit more anger during the late evening hours when they’re tired and likely to be awaiting dinner. If your loved one’s anger pops up around sundown, you may be able to head it off by having him or her take a short nap or engage in quiet time after lunch. A light mid-afternoon snack may also keep your loved one’s blood sugar levels under control so he or she feels less cranky.  

If you’re looking for reliable dementia care, Ambience Ambience In-Home Care offers high-quality at-home care for seniors who are managing the challenges of cognitive decline. We offer a revolutionary program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), which uses mentally stimulating activities to boost cognitive health in the elderly. CTM has proven to help seniors with dementia regain a sense of pride and accomplishment and learn how to engage with others in an enjoyable way. Reach out to one of our qualified Care Managers today at (469) 573-4213.


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