Tips for Handling Alzheimer’s-Related Aggression
Individuals who are afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease may experience aggression related to their condition. This aggression generally surfaces in the later stages of Alzheimer’s and, while the exact reason for it is unclear, researchers believe it may be symptomatic or due to the frustration and confusion Alzheimer’s patients feel. If a loved one has Alzheimer’s and is beginning to develop aggressive tendencies, it may be difficult to figure out how to handle the outbursts and agitation.
Here is a list of tips to help handle aggressive behaviors in an Alzheimer’s patient:
Remember that what is happening is not their fault and avoid becoming angry
An Alzheimer’s patient may not be able to control their aggression, so do your best not to get angry if they lash out at you. This will only make the situation worse and will likely increase their agitation. Try to remember that what they are experiencing is not in their control and that what they may say or do when angry has no relation to who they truly are.
Learn which situations bring about anger or aggression.
If you are able to recognize which types of situations make your loved one angry or upset, it is easier to avoid them and to decrease these incidences of anger and aggression. If you are having trouble identifying which situations trigger their anger, keep a journal chronicling times that they become notably agitated or frustrated and look for patterns.
Help your loved one participate in a relaxing activity or a hobby they enjoy.
By participating in a relaxing activity with your loved one or a familiar hobby that they enjoy, it will calm both of you down and help to reduce your loved one’s confusion. Additionally, it will increase the amount of time that you spend bonding with your loved one and create memories that you will be able to treasure for years to come.
Limit the amount of loud noises and distractions.
Alzheimer’s patients tend to become frustrated by loud noise as well as the occurrence of too many activities going on around them at once. By limiting loud noises and distractions, you can reduce their confusion and agitation while increasing their feelings of peacefulness and control.
Don’t challenge your loved one.
People who suffer from Alzheimer’s tend to become confused and forget or mix up certain information. If your loved one makes a statement that you believe to be incorrect, don’t feel the need to always challenge them on it. This will likely not accomplish much and may only upset them further. If you feel that they are getting information mixed up that isn’t of much importance, it’s not usually necessary to correct them. If the information they are confusing is important, try to notify them of this in a gentle and non-threatening manner.