Why are some old people so childish

Harbingers of Decline: Why People Suddenly Become Malicious As They Age

Lots of bad words because the coffee doesn't taste good or the wrong bed linen is put on: Relatives of older people sometimes wonder why they suddenly react grumpy, suspicious or even aggressive. Disputes arise that were actually considered to have been resolved. Years of subliminal conflicts may result in the older insulting the younger.

It can be difficult when the elderly has to be cared for and arguments keep coming back. But where does this behavior come from and how can relatives deal with it?

"If such aggressive behavior occurs, suddenly or increasingly, the relatives must first find out what is behind it," says nursing expert Christine Sowinski from the Kuratorium Deutsche Altershilfe in Cologne. A number of physical, psychological, or social reasons could be the cause.

“For example, it is often overlooked that older people have pain, sometimes so diffuse that they cannot say exactly where. If they suffer from a chronic disease such as rheumatism, the pain is sometimes no longer taken seriously, ”says Sowinski. She therefore recommends that a doctor clarify how such pain can be treated.

Aggressive behavior: stubborn old age or beginning dementia

Aggressive changes in behavior are also one of the symptoms that can occur with dementia. "Especially at the beginning of dementia, when people notice that they are becoming forgetful and can no longer find their way around so well, this can lead to blame and abuse," says Sowinski.

Not every dementia patient is prone to aggression, and conversely, not every verbal aggression is to be understood as an expression of an illness, says Professor Wolfgang Maier, Director of the Clinic and Polyclinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University Hospital Bonn. “In general, many people in old age have problems adapting themselves socially, for example swallowing their anger,” says Maier. That is why they often withdraw - for their own protection, so to speak. Sometimes this behavior is also the first sign of frontal brain dementia.

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