Elderly Parents: 5 Outrageous Behaviors That Drive Their Kids Crazy

Mar 25, 2010, 15:15 ET from Agingcare.com

NAPLES, Fla., March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- "My mother is driving me crazy!" This phrase is often uttered (or screamed) by people who are taking care of elderly parents. The AgingCare.com message boards are filled with difficult behavior problems by elderly parents: stories of hallucinations, hoarding ... even abuse.

AgingCare.com, an online community for caregivers, compiled from our discussion boards the top difficult behaviors:


Stories of mental, emotional, even physical abuse to the adult child are all-to-common. The elder turns on the one person who is showing the most love because they feel safe enough to do so.

What caregivers are saying:

"My elderly parents treat me like a whipping board."

Not showering

Elders who were once clean refuse to take showers, wear fresh clothes and take care of personal hygiene. A decreased sense of smell may be at fault. What your nose picks up as old sweat, they don't notice. Memory could be to blame. Without activities and appointments, days run together. 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:

"Mom refuses to shower."

Swearing and foul language

Parents who used to be mild-mannered, proper, and would never utter a four-letter word suddenly curse like a trucker. When it happens in public, it's embarrassing; when it happens in private it's hurtful.

What caregivers are saying:

"My elderly father is making sexual innuendos."

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. Obsessions include: Saving tissues, constantly worrying if it's time to take medications and obsessively picking at their skin.  

What caregivers are saying:

"Mom has an obsession with saving used tissues. She stashes them everywhere."


From hoarding old clothes to spoiled food, elderly people's homes and health are risk when hoarding problems exist.

What caregivers are saying:

"My mother hoards spoiled food"

Read the full article, which includes the top 10 outrageous behaviors.

About AgingCare.com

Agingcare.com is a website and online forum for people caring for aging parents. As the Facebook for caregivers, Agingcare.com lets caregivers communicate with each other, find elder care providers in their local area, and get answers from elder care experts. Visit www.agingcare.com or call 239-594-3202.

SOURCE Agingcare.com