Anderson & Anderson, A.P.C., was recently contacted by an Assisted Living Facility requesting anger management for an 89 year old resident. The presenting complaints were aggressive and verbally abusive communication to staff and fellow residents. The clinical assessment revealed that this client was suffering from reactive depression with a range of symptoms that include anger, stress, agitation and sleep disturbance. The non-psychiatric anger management assessment indicated deficits in empathy, assertive communication, and stress management. There was also a high score in aggression. On the positive side, there was a high score on motivation to change.
This case is significant in that this is only the second time in 12 years that we have received a request for service to anyone in this age group or in a similar situation. One reason for the lack of Geriatric referrals may well be a failure of medical/health care community in recognizing the need for anger management in the elderly population. Another reason may be that professional anger management providers are simply not addressing this population.
Currently, elderly persons represent the fastest growing group in the United States. Within this group, there are an increasing number of individuals who reside in long term care facilities.
Approximately 23% of residents in assisted living facilities suffer from depression. There is a positive relationship between anger and depression. Residents who report their anger experiences are also likely to report depressive mood symptoms.
In spite of these findings, professional anger management resources are rarely made available to Geriatric patients or clients in long term care facilities for the aged.
Anderson & Anderson offers anger management On-site to individuals or groups in assisted living facilities.
George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management