How to Handle Seniors with Alzheimer’s Who Become Aggressive

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Alzheimer’s disease causes changes in the brain that influence emotions and behaviors. Aggression is one behavior your senior loved one might display in the middle and later stages of Alzheimer’s, and you may see your loved one lash out despite the fact that he or she has always had a calm demeanor. Your loved one may yell, throw objects, and even attempt to hit you, and knowing how to deescalate these situations can help you and your loved one stay safe and preserve your relationship.

Respond with Empathy

Always try to respond at the first sign of agitation to prevent your loved one from getting even more upset. When you respond, take a deep breath and remember to use a calm voice. If you feel it’s safe, use a gentle reassuring touch, such as placing your hand on your loved one’s arm. You can also use reassuring words such as telling your loved one you understand he or she is frustrated.

Professional in-home caregivers are skilled in calming older adults who are living with Alzheimer’s disease. If your senior loved one needs professional in-home care in Mesa, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a trusted provider of respite and 24-hour care, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care for seniors.

Try to Identify the Trigger

Most cases of aggression have an underlying cause. Make sure your loved one is physically comfortable. Some seniors with Alzheimer’s may get aggressive if they need to use the restroom or are in pain since they know this will quickly get them attention. Your loved one may be bored or hungry, or there may be something in the room that bothers him or her, such as a bright light. If you can find the trigger, address it. You can also take note of the cause to try and prevent future acts of aggression.

Redirect Their Attention

Music is a great way to redirect attention to something else, and a soothing rhythm can quickly change your loved one’s mood. You can also try tricks such as moving your loved one into a different room. Try to keep calming activities on hand that you can pull out in moments like these. Squeezing a stress ball can give your loved one a physical outlet for stress, or he or she could try painting or coloring a picture.

Set Firm Limits

Although you should never get into a direct confrontation with your loved one, it’s okay to say that it’s not safe to hit. When you do, take a step back and state in a clear and calm voice he or she needs to stop the behavior. Keep the sentence short and use simple words. If this doesn’t work, you may need to reach out for assistance from another family member or a professional caregiver.

Families looking for top-rated elder care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

Get Back into Their Routine

Seniors with Alzheimer’s are more likely to act aggressively when they feel confused or upset over some event that happened during the day. A routine can keep these moments to a minimum. You can also make sure your loved one has enough physical activities built into the day to burn off energy and promote a better mood.

Aging adults with Alzheimer’s disease can benefit from receiving professional Alzheimer’s care. Mesa, AZ, seniors need regular mental stimulation when managing memory-related conditions, and a reliable in-home caregiver who has extensive training in Alzheimer’s care can be a great asset. Call Home Care Assistance today at (480) 699-4899 to schedule a free in-home consultation.