Top behavior problems of elderly parents

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


  1. michael michael United States says:

    My mom has been living with me and my spouse and kids for about two years. At first things where good,she had to go into the hospital, went to the nursing home and we brought her back home. Since then after six months being back home with us she has had an issue with my youngest daughter, blaming her for everything and my daughter does nothing to her we caught my mom on cam sicking her tongue out at her and my wife when they where walking out the door, she gives her these smart alick smiles to her made faces at her with my back turned,tells lies won't admitted shes wrong we don't have the money to put her in assist living crystal and boowhos when I catch her in a lie then three days later she's says shes sorry we are tired of herring it, she has chooses to stay in het room so she associated herself with anyone she has a tv and cable and I take her dinner to her so what is this she is trying to push my family out the door theres nothing wrong with her mind so what can I do.....?

  2. mary bell mary bell United States says:

    my mom is 91   and is needing more help at home
    i am seeing more and more changes as she ages.
    we now have a caregiver a few hours a day
    its very emotionally difficult for me to look
    after her now

  3. mary bell mary bell United States says:

    how does one handle an aging parent that has a large
    family, but many of the custodial needs fall to one

    Even with a caregiver, she still requires a lot of csre
    sometimes I lose my patience, and I am accused of
    elderly abuse
    At times I have to be very direct verbally with
    my parent. How can I get my point across ?????

  4. Ivona Welsh Ivona Welsh Australia says:

    Oh about an 'Adult Child Abuse' helpline!

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Could edible robots be the future of food and medicine?