Shocking and bad behaviors that caregivers deal with from elderly parents -
March 25, 2010  |  0 Comments  | 

Elderly Parents: 5 Shocking Behaviors that Drive Their Kids Crazy

March 25, 2010, Naples, FL, – "My mother is driving me crazy!" This phrase is uttered (or screamed) by people who are taking care of their elderly parents. Caregivers often have to deal with bad behavior problems by their elderly parents. The message boards are filled with stories of demanding parents, personality changes, hallucinations, temper tantrums…even abuse.

It's a big problem for adult children everywhere. People who are taking care of a loved one make up 21% of the population, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving. This translates into more than 44 million caregivers., an online community for caregivers, has compiled from our discussion boards the top behavior problems exhibited by elderly parents.


Sometimes, elderly parents turn on the child that is trying so hard to take care of them. Stories of mental, emotional, even physical abuse to the adult child are all-to-common.

Unless the elder has a personality disorder or mental illness, they turn on the one adult child who is showing the most love because they feel safe enough to do so. They don't consciously abuse this son or daughter, but they are frustrated and need to vent this frustration about getting old, having chronic pain, losing friends, having memory issues, being incontinent, etc.

What caregivers are saying:
"My elderly parents treat me as their whipping board."

Not showering

The issue of elders who were once reasonably clean refusing to take showers, wear fresh clothes and take care of personal hygiene is one that is far more common than most people think.

Sometimes it's about control. As people age, they lose more and more control over their lives. But one thing they generally can control is dressing and showers. The more they are nagged, the more they resist.

A decreased sense of sight and smell may be causing the problem. What your nose picks up as old sweat, they don't even notice. Or, memory could be to blame. The days go by. They aren't marked with tons of activities, there isn't something special about Wednesday – it could be Tuesday or Thursday – they lose track of time and don't realize how long it's been since they showered.

What caregivers are saying:
"My mother refuses to take a shower."

Swearing and foul language

When a normally loving father or mother is suddenly using the worst profanities, or saying inappropriate things, family members are baffled as to why…and what to do it about it.

We've heard stories about parent who used to be mild-mannered, proper, and would never utter a four-letter word suddenly cursing at their caregiver or calling them insulting names. When it happens in public, it's embarrassing; when it happens in private it's hurtful.

What caregivers are saying:
"Help! Mom is becoming mean and hateful and unreasonable."

Paranoia, hallucinations and strange obsessions

Paranoia and hallucinations take many forms, from accusing family members of stealing, seeing people who aren't there or believing someone is trying to murder them.

Saving tissues, worrying if it's time to take their meds, constantly picking at their skin, hypochondria…these types of obsessive behaviors disrupt the daily lives of elderly parents and their caregivers.

What caregivers are saying:

"My mother has an obsession with tissues. She stashes them everywhere."


From hoarding old clothes to spoiled food, elderly people's homes and health are risk when hoarding problems exist. When faced with aging and the possibility of outliving their resources, may begin to collect and save against the onslaught of feeling overwhelmed by what lies ahead. Others will hold on to items because they fear their memories will be lost without that tangible evidence of the past.

What caregivers are saying:

"My mother hoards spoiled food"

About is a leading online community that connects people caring for elderly parents to other caregivers, personalized information, and local resources. has become the trusted resource for exchanging ideas, sharing conversations and finding credible information for those seeking elder care solutions. For more information, visit . To arrange an interview, call 239-248-0058 or email .

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