Recommendations for Managing Aggressiveness in a Parent with Alzheimer’s

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Alzheimer’s disease can cause aggressive behavior as part of the symptoms. Although your aging parent may usually be loving, he or she may lash out with very little warning due to the changes that occur in the brain. Being prepared to manage aggressive behavior can help you make the right decisions as a caregiver while also managing the stress that accompanies being on the receiving end of your loved one’s anger.

Take a Deep Breath

Aggressive behavior is stressful to encounter. Your loved one may yell, throw things, or even attempt to hit you during an episode of aggression. If you have enough time, take a deep breath and remind yourself that your loved one isn’t purposely trying to hurt your feelings. Giving yourself a moment to remember not to take your loved one’s behavior personally can help you get in the right mindset for helping him or her calm down. 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. Palm Beach Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Avoid Arguments

Your loved one may become aggressive if he or she doesn’t want to do something or feels as though he or she isn’t being understood. For instance, your loved one may lash out when it’s time to bathe or go to the doctor. He or she may also get angry if you cannot understand what he or she is talking about. In these instances, try to avoid arguing or yelling back. Instead, help your loved one see that you’re on the same team by using strategies such as saying that you understand his or her frustration.

Check for Potential Physical Causes

It’s also possible for something physical to cause your loved one to get aggressive. For example, if your parent is nonverbal, he or she may start throwing objects as a strategy to get your attention if his or her clothing is soiled. Learn your loved one’s patterns of behavior to see how he or she reacts to certain problems, such as needing to use the bathroom. Simply addressing the physical problem could transform the behavior. 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 elder care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

Try Changing the Environment

The environment in your loved one’s home could also cause him or her to get aggressive. Look around for a moment to see if anything could be triggering the negative behavior. For example, a television could be depicting an upsetting event, or it could just be too loud. Your loved one may also be too hot, too cold, or just bored. Try turning off the television or making other changes to the environment until you find what works to soothe your loved one’s agitation.

Identify Ways to Keep Yourself Safe

Your first priority may be to get your loved one to calm down during an act of aggression, but you also need to think about your personal safety. While it may be difficult to admit, you may need help with your loved one’s care. Older adults can be surprisingly strong if they attempt to hit people or throw objects. In many cases, having a professional caregiver serve as a backup helps seniors stay calmer, and you can rely on the assistance to give you a chance to calm down and better manage the stress your loved one’s aggressive behavior creates. 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 Palm Beach home care 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. If you need compassionate, professional Alzheimer’s care for your loved one, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (561) 429-8292.


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