Strategies for Addressing Aggression in Aging Parents with Dementia
As your aging loved one’s dementia progresses, he or she may behave aggressively. Aggressive behavior, either physical or verbal, can be harmful, so it’s important to try to manage it as quickly as possible.
Create a Routine
Establishing a routine is extremely important for those with dementia. Having a routine makes your loved one’s day predictable and removes uncertainty as to what will happen next. Create a routine that includes errands, exercise, meals, and time to be creative. It can be helpful to label a large clock with pictures or words describing each day’s planned activities. Try to keep the routine similar from day to day. When your loved one feels secure and knows what to expect, it may calm him or her and prevent aggressive behavior from occurring.
Take Care of Physical Needs Promptly
Your loved one might not be able to let you know when he or she is uncomfortable and may react to these feelings with anger. Make sure your loved one uses the restroom regularly, eats and drinks as needed, and is wearing comfortable clothes. If you’re going to be away from home, pack a snack and ensure your loved one is comfortable as you travel. If your loved one isn’t getting adequate rest at night and the lack of sleep is causing the behavior, talk to the doctor about ways to help your loved one sleep well.
Symptoms such as agitation, confusion, anger, and frustration are common in elderly people with dementia. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Huntsville seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.
Redirect the Aggressive Behavior
If your loved one’s physical needs are taken care of and he or she is still behaving aggressively, try to redirect the behavior. Suggest going for a walk, watching a favorite movie, or listening to soothing music. Changing the environment or the situation may be enough for your loved one to forget what he or she was upset about and move on.
Remove Any Triggers
Take note of when your loved one displays aggressive behavior and look for any patterns. For example, your loved one may get upset during the evening hours when the house gets dark or the television is too loud. Removing these environmental triggers may stop aggressive behavior before it begins.
The cognitive challenges that accompany dementia often leave aging adults unable to manage everyday tasks, which puts their safety and health at risk. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare services families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Take Charge of the Situation
Brain cells progressively deteriorate in those with dementia, which means your loved one may display poor judgment in certain situations and act out aggressively. For example, your loved one may accuse you of stealing jewelry or money. If this occurs, refrain from arguing. Instead, use the opportunity to take charge of the situation. Respectfully offer to help with finances or put expensive items in a safe deposit box.
Try Changing Things Up
Your loved one’s aggressive behavior may often be directed toward you, which can be hurtful. Remind yourself it’s the disease causing the behavior, not you. Changing things up and using a respite caregiver can be beneficial for both you and your loved one. Your loved one may enjoy spending time with someone else, and you can take some time to care for yourself and your own needs.
Caring for a loved one with dementia 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 Huntsville at-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. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (256) 716-9940.