One of the most challenging aspects of caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s is managing aggressive behavior. Though Alzheimer’s affects everyone differently, even the most mild-mannered senior may become combative at times. Knowing how to handle this aggression can help as you care for your loved one.
1. Know the Importance of Staying Calm
When your loved one acts aggressively, stay calm. Raising your voice and letting your temper get out of control will just escalate the situation. Take a deep breath, count to ten, then calmly respond to your loved one’s outburst. If you don’t think you can respond patiently, make sure your loved one is in a safe location and walk away until you feel like you’re in control once more.
The cognitive challenges that accompany Alzheimer’s often leave aging adults unable to manage everyday tasks, which puts their safety and health at risk. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of elderly home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.
2. Learn Different Techniques for Managing Aggression
Many different techniques can be used to calm your loved one. Some of them may work better than others, and it might take some trial and error until you learn which work best for you. You can try some of these techniques:
- Remove the trigger – You may notice your loved one becomes aggressive at certain times of day, when he or she is hungry, or if there are a lot of lights and loud noises around him or her. Figure out the triggers and remove or avoid them as much as possible.
- Try reasoning – It’s okay to take a few minutes to try and reason with your loved one. However, this may not work if he or she is very upset.
- Use diversions – If your loved one can’t be reasoned with, try diverting his or her attention. Switch to another activity, change the environment, or begin a new conversation that may grab your loved one’s interest.
- Offer gentle touches – A gentle touch may reassure your loved one if he or she feels scared or anxious.
- Validate emotions – Don’t tell your loved one that he or she isn’t feeling a certain way. Instead, validate your loved one’s feelings, agree with him or her, and think of a solution that works for both of you.
3. Be Prepared for Sudden Changes
Everything may be fine one minute and then the next, your loved one may begin acting out. Aggressive behavior may begin suddenly and without warning, which most often occurs during the later stages of Alzheimer’s. If this happens, take a deep breath, check for any irritants, and be patient.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Fairfield Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
4. Remember It’s Not You
When your loved one is screaming at you and telling you how much he or she hates you, it may be hard not to take it personally. Remember this isn’t your loved one telling you these things but rather the disease that’s causing this behavior. It’s not indicative of your relationship or your past with your loved one.
5. Get Help
It’s okay to ask for help. Call on family members, close friends, and hired caregivers for assistance if handling your loved one’s aggressiveness becomes too much. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness but rather of love because you want the best care possible for your loved one.
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. Fairfield Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at 203-955-1915 today.