Suggestions for Managing a Combative Senior Who Has Alzheimer’s

By , 9:00 am on

Aggression typically develops in the later stages of Alzheimer’s. However, it may occur during the early stages. Although aggression isn’t uncommon in people with Alzheimer’s, your aging loved one should get a checkup to rule out physical causes for aggressive behavior. In the meantime, here are some ways to handle aggression in a senior with Alzheimer’s.

Determine the Cause

Aggression in those with Alzheimer’s may be related to illness, fatigue, hunger, or thirst. Your loved one may also become aggressive as a result of boredom, loneliness, anxiety, or depression. Confusion and exposure to new or unfamiliar situations may also trigger aggression. If your loved one becomes aggressive with a new caregiver, it may be because he or she doesn’t feel comfortable with new people. Once the source of aggression has been confirmed, you can then take steps to alleviate the situation so appropriate behaviors return.

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. Fort Myers Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Detach from the Situation

If your loved one becomes aggressive in a particular room, move to another location in the home to defuse the situation and give both you and your loved one the time and space needed to calm down. However, don’t leave the room if you believe your loved one is unable to calm down alone. 

A compassionate professional caregiver with experience in Alzheimer’s care can be a wonderful source of support. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading elderly home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

Provide Reassurance

Reassure your loved one during an outburst, and don’t try to reason with him or her. Also, don’t argue or contradict your loved one, and speak in a calm, friendly tone. Avoid displaying feelings of anger, fear, frustration, or impatience because your loved one will sense these negative feelings, which may exacerbate his or her agitation and aggression. When providing reassurance, avoid physical contact. Your loved one may misconstrue your attempts at physical reassurance as confrontation and aggression. Also, don’t try to physically redirect your loved one, as this may further fuel negative behaviors.

Call for Emergency Services

Aggression in those with Alzheimer’s disease may lead to physical violence, putting both you and your loved one in harm’s way. Instead, allow the police or fire department personnel to intervene and defuse the precarious situation. Your loved one may feel safer around authority figures and have an easier time calming down. Police and fire personnel are trained to effectively communicate with people in all kinds of different situations and may be able to easily defuse the tense situation in your home. Aggressive behavior may also indicate a serious medical condition, which may necessitate a trip to the hospital. Your loved one may be more likely to go to the hospital with professional personnel than with you, especially during an aggressive outburst. 

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s 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 Fort Myers home care service 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 239.449.4701 to learn more about our reliable in-home Alzheimer’s care services.