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Senior Citizens: Burdened with Grief and Anger

Updated on November 4, 2009

This is not the way it should be.

Grief and anger often becomes a heavy burden for people as they age. Throughout life, people experience grief over many things. They grieve if there home burns down, lose a job or a pet. However, an area of loss that is not usually considered with grief is the physical decline during the aging process.

Grief can be detected, in seniors, by the comments they make about losing their youth. Many times, they speak with remorse at lost youth, decreased functionality, and body strength. When a senior citizen notices they are losing muscle strength, or begin experiencing arthritis, stiffness, and joint pain, it's not unusual to notice anger. They become upset and wish to escape the betrayals of their bodies, and become very angry in the process.

No one asks to get old or feeble. Most likely, if we had a choice, most of us would vote to discontinue and ban getting old. A person might grieve when they are bestowed the title of “Senior Citizen.” At first, a senior citizen, might not notice the changes that are taking place in the physical aspects of the body or the mind. And, perhaps, as much as they hate the thought of getting old, family members also grieve about losing the 'young' mom or dad they once knew.

Unfortunately, getting angry about growing old has no escape; there's no one to blame it on. So, sometimes the result is that seniors lash out at the ones closest to them. Anger and frustration with the aging body causes tempers to rage or flare up unexpectedly. Many times, a senior lashes out at a loved one or caregiver because they are nearby and easily accessible. The aging person knows it isn't fair, but may have a hard time explaining their actions.

Learning how to cope with anger about aging is necessary so you don't hurt the innocent ones around you. But, it is also unhealthy to keep your grief bottled up inside you. If seniors are not allowed to vent and get rid of their anger, the body can decline at a faster rate.

It's been suggested that people become angry because they feel a false sense of entitlement. This crops up when expectations do not line up with reality. A feeling of undo entitlement happens when we believe we do not deserve to get old.

There is just one way to confront getting older, and that is to recognize that we are not alone, everyone will get old, and we are not entitled to be exempt from the aging process. Recognizing this fact can help to eliminate anger from the arena as we cope with the affects of aging.

Attempting to deny the advance of life's end, is probably the sole cause of midlife crisis's. Trying to behave as if they are not getting older and hiding emotional responses to aging can cause devastating results. Avoiding the feelings about aging has caused many to act irresponsibility or make bad decisions.

By recognizing the problems that naturally happen through aging, some of the anger can be avoided. Instead of dwelling on declining abilities, senior citizens can minimize the impacts by living with a healthier attitude toward aging.

Focusing on your diet, exercise, keeping busy, and doing everything you can to stay rested and emotionally sound. Thinking about or getting involved with other people can help to create a healthier attitude toward aging and minimize its effects.

Try to keep your spirits up, be happy through achievements and seemingly small enjoyments. Keep a young at heart attitude and get in touch with the child inside you. You've come too far, traveled many winding paths, and you deserve to feel content and happy. Emotions about how you feel about yourself can play a major role in the person you choose to be as a senior citizen.

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    • suzetteboston profile image

      suzetteboston 

      7 years ago

      Great article, thanks for the information. I will certainly share it.

    • ivori profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Eisenberg 

      8 years ago from Titusville

      Thanks for your ocmment, katyzzz. It's true many young are couch potatoes!

    • katyzzz profile image

      katyzzz 

      8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Wise words, but some do stay much more physically capable than others. And some of the young are not very physically active at all.

      Something to ponder upon.

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