How to Handle Aggressive Behavior Caused by Alzheimer’s

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One of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer’s is aggressive behavior, and there may come a point where your senior loved one seems to become agitated no matter what you do. Even if he or she used to be sweet and caring, this disease can damage the area of the brain responsible for reasoning and judgment. While it might feel as if the aggression is completely unmanageable, there are a few steps you can take to address aggressive behavior so it doesn’t escalate into a heated argument or physical confrontation. 

Divert Your Loved One’s Attention

As soon as you notice any type of change in your loved one’s demeanor, you should immediately try to distract him or her. Distraction isn’t going to address the root cause of the behavior, but it can help you avoid the aggressiveness for a short time. If there’s a particular show or movie your loved one enjoys, you might want to put that on the television. You can also ask your loved one to complete a simple task, such as fetching something from the other room or taking out the trash. 

Symptoms such as agitation, confusion, anger, and frustration are common in elderly people with Alzheimer’s. The days, weeks, and months following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be challenging for both seniors and their families. However, these challenges can be made less stressful with the help of caregivers trained in professional Alzheimer’s care. Sacramento Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Speak Slowly and Directly

In some cases, seniors with Alzheimer’s become belligerent because they feel as if they’re being ignored or ridiculed. Even if your loved one seems to be incoherent, you should still try to listen to what he or she is saying. Once you’ve listened, you need to respond in a gentle tone with simple phrases. You should also try to validate your loved one’s feelings so he or she can work through the troubling emotions. Trying to correct your loved one or offer an alternative opinion could make the situation worse.

There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading in-home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

Remove Yourself from the Situation

There may come a point where your loved one’s anger is directed at you, and you’ll need to take a step back when that occurs. Before you leave your loved one, make sure he or she doesn’t have access to any potentially dangerous items, such as knives, scissors, lighters, or medications. Once you’ve confirmed the area is safe, you can leave the room for a few minutes so your loved one can calm down. After the anger has subsided, you might want to bring your loved one a snack or cool drink as a distraction.

Rule Out Pain and Discomfort

Some seniors with Alzheimer’s have a difficult time telling their caregivers when they’re in pain or hungry. Over time, that physical discomfort could result in agitation and aggressiveness. When you notice a change in your loved one’s mood, make sure he or she is full, well hydrated, and uninjured. You might also want to ask if he or she needs to use the restroom. Incontinence issues are very common among seniors with Alzheimer’s, and those problems can lead to quite a bit of discomfort when left untreated.

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is a challenging task for anyone. The responsibilities can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Sacramento in-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at 916.706.0169 today.