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6 Approaches to Handling Aggression in a Loved One with Dementia

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Handling an aggressive senior loved one with dementia is never going to be easy, and many caregivers don’t know how to manage that type of behavior. Luckily, with a solid plan in place, you should be able to keep your loved one safe during those outbursts.

Start Identifying Triggers

Whenever your loved one becomes hostile or belligerent, you need to figure out exactly what triggered the behavior. In some cases, seniors with dementia become aggressive because they can’t clearly express hunger or pain. Some seniors are triggered by certain loud noises or cluttered rooms. Once you’ve identified your loved one’s triggers, it may be much easier to avoid confrontations.

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. Vancouver 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.

Stay Calm

Caring for an aggressive senior can be tiresome, and it might be tempting to argue or try to convince your loved one he or she is wrong. However, that’s only going to escalate the situation and make your life much more difficult. If you feel yourself getting angry, you need to take a deep breath and gain control of your emotions.

Validate Your Loved One

One common tactic many caregivers use is validating their loved one’s feelings. Even if your loved one has completely fabricated a story, try to hear him or her out and validate what he or she is saying. By being empathetic and understanding, you might be able to deescalate the situation. After your loved one’s point has been heard, he or she may calm down.

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 in-home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Enhance the Environment

Removing all distractions is another important step. Seemingly minor distractions can irritate seniors with dementia and exacerbate some of the worst symptoms of this cognitive disorder. In addition to closing all the curtains, turn off any electronics that are noisy or bright. If your loved one has a favorite song or band, you might want to turn that music on at a very low volume.

Shift Focus

As soon as you notice a sudden shift in your loved one’s demeanor, immediately try to distract him or her. Asking your loved one to carry out a chore or complete a simple task could put him or her at ease and prevent an argument. You can also pull out some crafting supplies if your loved one enjoys painting, drawing, or scrapbooking.

Take Yourself Out of the Situation

In some situations, you might be the reason your loved one is agitated, which means you’ll need to step out of the room for a few moments. Before you leave the room, make sure the environment is safe and secure. Never leave your loved one in an area where he or she has access to dangerous items such as knives or medications.

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 Vancouver homecare 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. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (778) 715-5134 to learn more about our reliable in-home dementia care services.