My Elderly Mother Is Never Happy – What To Do? 

My elderly mother is never happy – if we had a penny for every time one of our readers said that, we would be rich! It is in fact so common that wrote a whole article to explore the whys and hows of it. Do go through.

Caregiving is a natural part of parents’ lives when they are young. However, the role reverses when their offspring grows up and mom and dad start growing old. 

While it is comparatively easy for parents to take care of their children, it can be quite a challenge sometimes to take care of elderly parents. Sometimes, you just have to sit down and understand the reason behind your old parents’ persistent sad or angry behavior. 

My Elderly Mother Is Never Happy

It requires a lot of patience not to react and respond to their behavior. Many adults in their 40s have an issue with their mothers – “My elderly mother is never happy- What to do?” While the answer to this question is entirely subjective, we have tried to gather solutions in this article. 

What Things Make Your Mother Unhappy As She Grows Old?

To find the solution to a problem, it is essential to get to its root. Let’s start with a simple question – do you know where anger comes from? 

According to Psychology Today, in most cases, anger is never a primary emotion, which means that it results from masking another emotion. The usual culprits are fear or deep sadness. 

The feeling of deep regret that crops up as anger are often a result of feeling disregarded, undervalued, unimportant, and powerless. However, it is no one’s responsibility to deal with passive-aggressive behavior. 

Still, our task here is to let you know the probable reasons behind the unhappy face of your mom, especially when they grow old. By holding on to all the negative emotions without finding a way to release them on top of fulfilling all of their responsibilities for many years, mothers become easy prey to sadness, loneliness, and resultant anger. 

My Elderly Mother Is Never Happy

We can surely cut some slack for our beloved mothers, but that wouldn’t be an ideal solution for this problem. So, you must go ahead and find a way to release the in-built anger out of her, one way or another. 

There are chances that your willingness to help her might make her even more furious, and she would, in all probability, blow things out of proportion or do the complete opposite – shut down completely.

Nonetheless, talking about the problem with love, affection, and lots of patience is certainly the right place to make a start towards resolving her anger issues. 

Behaviors that Show Your Elderly Mother is Unhappy

It is no rocket science to understand when a loved one is happy, especially if it is your mother we are talking about. You are connected to your mother as you would never be connected to someone else, and thus, at some level, you feel her pain and unhappiness and, therefore, would want to bring her out of her sad state. 

To do the same, you must learn about the behaviors that show that your elderly mother is unhappy. We have listed down the most common ones for you below – 

Emotional Outbursts

Elderly anger, rage, and emotional outbursts, sometimes, for no reason at all. Unfortunately, when they are angry, their main target often is their primary caregiver, which is usually their children. As much as that hurts, their anger mostly isn’t about them- it is just directed towards them. 

My Elderly Mother Is Never Happy

Abusive Behavior

Abusive/violent behavior towards the person putting in efforts to make them happy. Sometimes, the abusive behavior can result from mental illnesses like Borderline Personality Disorder or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, in which case, we would suggest you let them be and perform your duty. 

However, if needed, you must step back for a while. You must step forward and seek professional help if required for both you and your mother. 

Self Isolation

Unusual silence or self-isolation also shows that your aging mother is quite unhappy. Sometimes, they are they do not offer any problematic behavior – they do not scream, yell, abuse, curse, cry, rage. Instead, they just become silent, and if you know them better, you will figure it out that they are sad. 

Refusal to Accept Care

Refusal to accept help or care from their loved ones or even professionals. The primary caregiver needs to be there for their parents when needed. However, a sad mother would show that she doesn’t want help from you or a professional caregiver. 

This is simply because it is one of the behavior patterns of parents who are growing old. You can sit with them and, with love and care, explain to them why it is essential. 

How To Deal With the Negative or Sad Behavior of Your Elderly Mother?

Your mother may be unhappy not because of something that has happened to her or with her in the present moment but in the past that stayed with her. 

Additionally, the unwanted changes that occur due to aging also add to the depression and anxiety of most people. Thus, it is essential to learn to deal with such negative behavior in our parents, in this case, mothers. We have compiled a list of some tips that might help you. So, here it goes:

My Elderly Mother Is Never Happy

Get to the Root

Identify the root of the problem and get to the solution – When you learn and assess the root cause of their unhappiness or harmful behavior, only then can you get to the solution. In this case, we would like to mention that not all solutions work for all people. 

Every individual is different, and they might need a customized solution to solve their problems. Thus, you can connect with a specialist in this case and help your mother come out of her state.

Help Them Socialize

Help them socialize more – As our parents grow older, their social lives minimize to the point that sometimes, they get no one to talk to, especially moms. Having one or more friends outside of the family is essential for them and their health. Thus, you must encourage them to go for walks in the park, meet people, or join a club or a group. 

Get the Whole Family Involved

Involve the family – Do not take the task of healing or helping your mum alone. You are a human being too, and you need to take care of your health and life as well. 

Thus, discussing the matter with other family members or close relatives. So, go ahead and call your near and dear ones and seek help if needed. 

My Elderly Mother Is Never Happy

Take A Break Once In a While

Understand when you need a break as well. As mentioned above, you must take respite from regular life, especially when you keep finding solutions to keep your mother happy and head out to nourish your soul and rejuvenate your body. 

It can be a road trip with friends, a weekend getaway with your spouse, or perhaps a solo trip to the mountains – whatever makes you recharged and ready to take on the world again! Respite care options should cover you for a while.

Five Things To Never Do to Your Unhappy Elderly Mother

As an adult, it can be uncomfortable to be treated like a child by your mother, who, herself, cannot keep herself out of the loop of unhappiness and sadness. Even so, if you want to be a help to her, then never do these five things to your unhappy elder mother – 

Asking her why is she always so unhappy 

Asking such questions will only makes her furious and nothing else. So, instead of referring to it as her hobby, you must try to keep mum until the time is right, and then, you must communicate your feelings with her in as calm and gentle a manner as possible. However, at her age, you shouldn’t expect an apology coming from her. 

My Elderly Mother Is Never Happy

Advising her to let go of a situation 

Sometimes, it is difficult even to let go of a situation that made us feel unwanted or undervalued. So it is pretty difficult to expect our already sad and tired elderly mother to do so. 

While we can calmly ask her to breathe in and out and focus on something that isn’t in her favor or is hurting her, we can ultimately expect the advice to backfire. 

Thus, instead of burdening her with suggestions and a bundle of advice, it is better to shower her with love and affection and let her know that she is valued, and make her feel heard. 

Telling her that it is not a big deal

Well, to you, it might not be, but to her, it is since she is troubling or hurting her so much that she cannot take her mind off of it. It can be a situation that has already happened, and it might not even be that big or severe. 

Still, it sure has triggered some buried emotions or long-hidden feelings inside her that she cannot let go of a thought and verbally repeat it repeatedly – it is a big deal to her, and do not tell her to get over it. 

My Elderly Mother Is Never Happy

Brushing her off instead of being patient

We get it; as caregivers to our parents, we mostly stay patient with them and try to understand their feelings and emotions – we would ask you to meditate more and keep up with it constantly. What can hurt the most is your reluctance or unwillingness to listen to her or brush her off. 

We want to mention it again; we understand and empathize with you completely; it can be hard to listen and understand things that might seem pointless to you, but for the sake of the health of your aging mother, go ahead and listen without complaining. 

Pointing out her every mistake 

Let’s accept it – you cannot avoid arguments with your elderly mother since it won’t be healthy for you to keep it all inside your body (we don’t want you to grow old sad and unhappy like your mother). 

Thus, it is essential to refer to the matter that bothers you and let her know. However, we wouldn’t recommend you to jot down and point out every mistake of hers that, according to you, was beyond forgiveness. 

It is hard to let go of her shortcomings as a mother, but you have to keep reminding yourself that you will be growing up to be a mom as well, and even after trying your best, you wouldn’t be able to fulfill all the wishes and expectations of your child. 

Remembering the same, you can stop pointing out every mistake and wrong she has done to you as a mother, simply because it wouldn’t lead to a solution and make things even worse. 

My Elderly Mother Is Never Happy

How To Make Your Elderly Mother Happy?

The simple yet complex answer is – to be loved, give love, and keep the love going around. As philosophical and poetic as it sounds, we truly believe that this is the only way to open the heart of your elderly mother. 

 Thus, we would say that as long as she isn’t abusive towards you in any way and if you can handle her sad behavior, then perhaps, staying close to her for a while would be a great idea. 

Also, we have added some key points to help you keep your elderly mother happy and healthy. 

  • Stay connected with her via calls, video calls, and personal meetings. If you live far away, find some time to visit her often.
  • Tell her that you love her often. We might feel a bit awkward or shy when telling our mothers that we love them, but it can be very healing for them. So, go ahead and tell her that you love her, send her gifts, write her letters, and bring her flowers. 
  • Could you encourage them to go out with you? Sometimes, take her to the malls, parks, movies, restaurants, and with you. Make her feel that she still holds a special place in your heart and that she will always be your favorite human. 
  • Help her make new friends near her house – Whether she lives with you or away from you, make sure that she goes out at least once a day and meets people. Even a walk in nature can be very healing for a person. It significantly reduces depression and anxiety. So, take her to the parks and help her meet new people. 

A Few Final Words

Remember that love is the only way to bring calm to an angry person, peace to an agitated person, and happiness to a sad person. 

So, if your mother or someone you love or even a stranger seems unhappy to you, go ahead and show them some love, and we reckon that they will smile, even if it is for a moment. 

My Elderly Mother Is Never Happy

We hope that the article has given you insight into some of the reasons why your mother may be unhappy or angry all the time. Do remember one key takeaway – don’t brush off this behavior as a “phase” and don’t start arguing with her without trying to understand the cause.

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