Handling Behavioral Changes With Dementia: Anger and Aggression
One of the most difficult and devastating things about dealing with Alzheimers disease and dementia is that this condition actually controls and changes mood and behavior. While you may be looking directly at a loved one who you feel as though you know; you may find that their personality, behavior and mannerisms are completely different than what you have come to know. Many times, those with dementia will start becoming anxious, fearful, aggressive and angry and it can be very difficult for a caregiver and loved one to deal with. Here are some tips on how to properly handle behavioral changes that come with dementia.
Get a Professional Opinion
If you have been noticing overly aggressive behavior in your loved one, then it may be time to seek the advice of your health care provider. Visit the doctor to determine if there is a medical cause to the answer or if the medications that your loved one is on are causing some adverse side effects. In severe cases a doctor may be able to even prescribe medication that can help calm your loved one.
Creating the Right Environment
In some situation your loved ones environment may be what is causing or provoking their angry outbursts. Do what you can to change that environment. Try to limit outside noise. Limit the amount of clutter in a room or the number of people in the room. Put familiar photos or objects in their environment to help them feel safe and secure.
If the individual is often confused or disoriented, make sure you are outfitting their space with calendars and clocks that can help them understand the time and date. Always try to keep dangerous objects out of reach. When asking them a question, restrict their choices or options to minimize confusion.
Modify Your Communication Tactics
The way you communicate with your loved one can have a significant impact on their anger and aggression. Always speak in a soothing voice, try gentle touch when communicating with them as well. Make sure you are acknowledging their anger but that you are staying calm and trying to make them feel safe.
Create a Routine
A set routine is one of the best things for an individual with dementia so make sure that you are staying in that routine as straying from the routine can cause anger, fear or confusion. Try to not only keep a routine with their actions but try to make sure you are always putting the same things in the same places to keep everything familiar.