Alzheimer’s can come with a slew of additional complications. One of them includes anger and aggression. While these can be difficult to handle there are a number of tactics you can use to get the situation under control. The quicker you identify the underlying problem to assist your loved one, the sooner the frustration will subside for everyone involved.
When you first begin to notice the individual becoming upset and/or agitated there are a number of responses you can try:
- Try to identify the cause – One of the best tactics is to consider the events that happened just before the individual became upset. Recognizing the culprit in these instances can help in avoiding them in the future.
- Are they in pain? – Pain is a common cause of aggression and can often come from unseen conditions such as urinary tract infections. If you think they may be the cause you should schedule your loved one to see a doctor as soon as possible.
- Consider their feelings – We often try and focus on facts in frustrating situations when instead it is the emotions that should take center stage. When working through a fit of aggression or anger consider the feelings behind why they are angry instead of focusing on the event that upset them. Alzheimer’s can sometimes prevent individuals from being completely rational. What may seem like a small incident to most can be a trigger for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- Remain calm – It can be tempting to lose control and get angry as well but that will only complicate the issue. Try instead to remain calm and positive. Speak in a slow relaxing tone to help deescalate the situation.
- Recognize familiar triggers – After a while you will begin to recognize situations that bring on the aggressive behavior. Once you start to recognize them you can avoid and circumnavigate them.
- Identify soothing techniques – For many there are certain self-soothing techniques that can help to calm and relax. Some of the favorites include pieces of fabric that they enjoy the feel of or that have positive memory association, music, massage, and stretching.
- Do not use restraints – Unless your loved one is in immediate and serious danger you should avoid restraining them. Restraint will only further aggravate them and can actually lead to physical harm even when that is not the intent. Instead try and use your relaxing voice technique to calm them.
These are only a few of the strategies you can use to mitigate aggression in seniors with Alzheimer’s disease. To learn more about managing Alzheimer related aggression visit http://santarosaseniorliving.com/dementia-alzheimer/aggression or call owner Mary Garcia, RN at (707) 695-2937. If you are searching for memory care for your loved one who exhibits aggression visit Wild Rose Care Home for a tour. We can explain our approach to memory care and show you our private assisted living community.