Tips for Managing Aggression Related to Alzheimer’s

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Alzheimer’s changes a senior’s cognitive abilities, and it could increase the risk of behavioral challenges, such as verbal outbursts and physical dangers. As a family caregiver, you should use the tips below to manage aggression in a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s.

Offer Reassurance

Alzheimer’s causes confusion and disorientation in older adults, increasing the risk of combative behavior. However, acts of kindness and reassurance may be what they need to calm down. The uncertainty of the disease may make your loved one feel like he or she is losing control quickly, and the fear may be what causes him or her to act out negatively. To manage these emotions, reassure your loved one that you’ll be there to help and that together, you can get through anything. If your loved one is acting out violently, keep a safe distance until he or she has calmed down. You also need to inform the doctor of the outburst. Physical dangers are never okay, and they shouldn’t be ignored. Violent actions could be due to chronic pain and other health concerns.

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. Bethlehem Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Allow Plenty of Space

Sometimes the best way to manage aggression in an elderly parent is to leave the room and allow him or her to vent. The irrational behavior could cause you to become frustrated, but you should refrain from arguing or pointing out what your loved one did wrong. These are reactions that could increase tension and make the situation worse. Instead, leave the room for a few moments and allow your loved one to continue venting until he or she calms down. The short separation could be what you both need to regroup and gain a clearer perspective.

The cognitive challenges that accompany Alzheimer’s often leave aging adults unable to manage everyday tasks, which puts their safety and health at risk. 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 homecare services provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

Monitor Medications

Seniors with Alzheimer’s are likely taking multiple medications to manage the disease as well as other health conditions. The side effects of different prescriptions could cause your loved one to become aggressive. Monitoring the medications allows you to determine if the irrational behavior begins after the medicines have been taken. If so, report these findings to the doctor, who may decide the medications are too strong or the dosage needs to be altered. The doctor may also find that taking two specific pills together causes aggressive behavior, and he or she may need to change the treatment plan entirely.

Suggest a Fun Activity

Changing a senior’s focus is one of the best ways to manage Alzheimer’s-related aggression. When your loved one concentrates on a task, he or she may stop thinking about the issue that caused the outburst. The constructive activities may enhance his or her mood and keep him or her positively engaged. For instance, if your loved one is pacing back and forth while screaming, display a smile or another reassuring nonverbal gesture and calmly suggest watching television, listening to music, or going for a walk. Your tone should be soft, and your body language must be friendly. Your loved one will likely stop pacing and calm down, giving the activity serious consideration.

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 Bethlehem senior 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. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at 484-350-3874 today.