Chapter 2: As care needs increase

Understanding anger

Where is the line for me? How much do I have left? How much longer can I do this? My main goal is to not “hit the wall” before he does.

When someone is not well, sometimes they take out their frustrations and anger on the person they are closest to. Perhaps they feel it is a safe place to “just be themselves.” This is a difficult yet very common experience for caregivers.

It is important to recognize that anger is a natural and powerful emotion that impacts everyone in the situation. Part of responding is trying to understand why the person is angry and frustrated. Click each tab below to read about some common reasons.

Lack of control

The person has experienced a number of losses and likely feels frustrated by a lack of control.


Sometimes anger comes from fear about the future. It is often hard to talk about fear, so it may come out as verbal or physical outbursts.

Your responses

You might respond with anger, frustration, or silence. You may be experiencing a wide range of emotions yourself, which can affect how you respond to the person.

Click on each item on the left for more detail