I didn’t mean for this to become a blog post but because the course of events has been so interesting since I first posted this fact on Twitter and Facebook this morning, I felt that it was a sign to discuss it. I originally stated “I am SO mad at my mother. Do you think that caregivers have the right to demand good behavior from their aging parent?”
Let me add here that had the bad behavior (extreme rudeness and name-calling) been directed towards me, that I could have more easily let it roll off my back. But it wasn’t; it was directed at a friend.
Since that time, I’ve received a multitude of comments, suggestions, sympathies and empathies. A few people asked whether she had dementia or a condition that would cause altered behavior. (No, she doesn’t.) A few stated that we can’t demand; we can only hope for good behavior. A few related similar experiences. One suggested I read this article on bad behavior by elders.
Then I opened my e-mail and found a meditation that an associate of mine had just created for our membership level entitled “Using Anger as Rocket Fuel for Something that Brings you Great Joy”. It is a great meditation and caused me to begin to shift my focus this morning.
As I was continuing to catch up with e-mail and social media, I found the video displayed towards the end of this post. It was shared with me by 2 people (even before they knew of my anger) and because it takes a humorous look at the aging process by a woman who is beginning to age herself, I wanted to share it with you. (It takes place at a caregiver awards dinner for Home Instead Senior Care so I’d like to add that I’m not affiliated with them in any way.)
So between the comments, the meditation, and the video, I believe that I’m back on track for today, but I will not tolerate such outbursts from a mother who has no reason to be so rude.
In reality, it just plain sucks to get old. Because there are so many disappointments in the aging process (decreased hearing and vision, mobility issues, isolation, physicial limitations) and we push a lot of anger at these situations back because it’s difficult to yell at “not being able to hear” or “to rage about getting tired when climbing stairs, we displace it onto other things or people.
The aging process also reminds us that our life may soon be coming to an end and if we are not pleased with how our life has gone so far, or if life has seemed unfair, there may be a lot of anger at life itself. This type of anger can also be displaced.
So to answer my own question “Do you think that caregivers have the right to demand good behavior from their aging parent”, I would say………..it depends. And we’ll talk about that more later.
I will talk about anger in a separate article and I will also be doing a series of articles on emotions: anger, guilt, frustration, worry, sadness, etc. so please stay tuned for that.
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