Narcissism in the Elderly

An excessive interest in oneself, often accompanied by grandiose views of one's abilities, a lack of empathy for others, and an excessive need for admiration. A persistent pattern of pathological narcissistic traits is diagnosed as narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

Whether a senior has been clinically diagnosed with NPD or has a lifelong pattern of exhibiting narcissistic traits, family caregivers identify narcissistic tendencies as one of the most challenging issues to cope with when providing care. At their core, narcissistic elders must be the center of attention, often feel slighted or mistreated, and only value others for what they can provide. On top of that, a narcissist's lack of empathy limits their ability to care about the emotional experience of others. When combined with the physical and cognitive declines of aging, the needs of an aging narcissist place a high demand on caregivers with very little understanding or regard for the toll it is taking on the caregiver.

Browse AgingCare's Narcissism Articles as well as Q&A from other caregivers in the Caregiver Forum who are also caring for a narcissistic senior. Find the information, advice and support you need to help you cope with the challenges of caring for a narcissist.

Narcissism Articles

  • A Guide to Caring for Narcissistic Parents

    Narcissists have a limited ability to love other people and value their emotions. Accepting this reality will help you come to terms with your uniquely difficult caregiving role and set boundaries with your narcissistic mother or father.

    352 Comments
  • Elderly Temper Tantrums: What's Behind the Outburst?

    We tend to think of temper tantrums as only pertaining to small children or teens, but even the elderly act out at times. Learn what's behind these angry outbursts and how to best handle them without losing your own temper.

    39 Comments
  • Detaching With Love: Setting Boundaries With Difficult Elderly Parents

    Whether you're providing hands-on care or managing care decisions, setting boundaries with difficult elderly parents enables family caregivers to provide care while safeguarding their own mental health.

    179 Comments
  • Caring for Aging Parents Who Didn’t Care for You

    For those who endured abusive and neglectful childhoods, caring for elderly parents can reopen old wounds and cause new trauma. Choosing whether to participate in a parent's care is tough, but you do have options.

    137 Comments
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