Suffering with Dementia or Alzheimer’s can be a very confusing and often frustrating process. If you have to care for or keep an eye on your loved one who suffers from dementia, you may also have to deal with the times that they can become aggressive due to their confusion. It is important to understand how to help calm your loved one during these episodes of frustration, so that you can de-escalate the situation. Here are a few things you can do to attempt to defuse potentially hostile or aggravated situations.
- Make sure their frustration isn’t caused by physical pain. Many people who suffer from dementia can find it difficult to make others aware of their pain, and they can become angry or frustrated as the result. If you suspect that physical pain may be the cause of the outburst, try to address the source of the pain.
- Try to gently reassure them by speaking calmly and softly. Gently touch their hands or arms (if appropriate) to try and keep them calm.
- Your loved one’s aggression may be a result of strong negative emotions, that they no longer have the ability to express. feelings such as sadness, loneliness, anger, or frustration. Much like a young infant, one suffering from dementia may not have the capacity to show complex emotions.
- Avoid mirroring their aggression or using force. This can heighten their reactions, and can end up getting them hurt. You should never try to restrain them or keep them from moving.
- Reduce noise or other stimuli that might be causing such reactions. Lower the TV volume, or change the channel. Sometimes having too many people in the room or too much going on can be overstimulating.
- If the aggressive episodes continue, survey the scene for potential triggers or commonalities that may be what causes these outbursts. Certain noises from the TV, lights through the window, and more can incite fear or frustration that can cause aggressive behaviors in those suffering from dementia.
If your loved one is struggling with Dementia or Alzheimer’s, consider getting them more help in the form of a home health aide or nurse. Having a trained medical professional to assist your loved one can be important to their care and overall health. Those who suffer from dementia can have a very difficult time adjusting to new living situation, such as a nursing home. Keeping them in their own home with an aide can help reduce confusion.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services does not provide medical or healthcare advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical advice.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services has been providing excellent home care on Staten Island since 1967. Our services help the elderly and disabled live safely and independently; while giving their families the peace of mind they need. For more information contact Safe Harbor at (718)-979-6900.