It can build up inside to a point that it can damage every other area of your life, and relationships with those in family, and friends.
In the years I cared for elders and disabled folks, there were times I could see that anger was inside and isolation, silence, and short temper developed within them. I knew they needed to let out what was really hurting them, they also needed to know someone really cared. The reality of the illness itself was not the most difficult thing to deal with; it was feeling that no one in the world cared about them, feeling worthless.
In those times I tried to find an opportunity to spend some quality time with them alone; and ask them about their lives. I wasn’t just acting either, I really wanted them to open up to me, and tell me of their memories, and what mattered to them. They could sense I wasn’t just patronizing them, and those talks sometimes would go on for quite a while. For several days afterward I’d notice they smiled more, seemed more content, and at peace with themselves. Love and sincere compassion is a medicine for the soul, and it can be a great contributor to physical improvement.
This is also true in the area of social interaction among seniors. Over the years working in nursing homes, I began to notice there were times that an elder would be unresponsive, become combative, or verbally abusive around certain employees that were assigned to care for them. I paid attention, and watched to see if there was a pattern, or particular reason for this to occur.
It didn’t take long to find that there was a reason. It was not always the case, but many times these seniors were reacting out of fear, and anxiety of these employees; because of past experiences of roughness, physical abuse, verbal abuse, or all of these. Being treated with disrespect repeatedly caused some of them to “shut down”, and become unresponsive, it was their way of dealing with the mistreatment. People who have lived a long, difficult life, and are dealing with aches, illnesses, and hardships should not be expected to endure disrespect as well. A simple question we should ask ourselves is “how would I want to be treated if I was in their place?” This helps to guide us in our manner of care for them, and how we speak to them.
Watching these events taught me much about how to develop a meaningful relationship with most of the people I cared for. It is not a guarantee, because sometimes the elders themselves are hard to be kind to, they have their issues at times also. But, in most cases, I have found that honest concern, compassion, and respect goes a long way in changing an atmosphere of stress, anxiety, and anger into one of cooperation and positive mental attitude.
This video below is a preview of the Dealing with Aggression Online Training available for professional caregivers at http://e-learning.orcasinc.com.
It is very beneficial for anyone who is a caregiver of a family member, or employed in a caregiving capacity.
It's unfortunate that these situations occur, but there are steps we can learn, that will help us take the proper actions, and help deal with this problem. I will also add, prayer is a very powerful tool, God can bring change in every situation.