People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease may lash out for no apparent reason. They may become easily agitated or angry. They may curse, scream, or throw tantrums. They may even throw things at caregivers or push and hit them. This type of aggression usually begins in the later stages of the disease. Does Alzheimer’s make you mean?
Nobody knows for certain why this occurs. Aggression could be a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. It could also be a reaction to being confused or frustrated. If your loved one becomes aggressive, remember that they are not doing so on purpose. There are also things you can do to make them feel better and prevent outbursts.
Recognize the Triggers
Alzheimer’s aggression can appear suddenly. There could be no obvious cause. However, triggers can often be identified before or during a problem. Typical examples include:
- Discomfort caused by a lack of sleep, medication side effects, or pain that they cannot describe
- The environment around them, such as loud noises, excessive activity, or clutter
- The confusion caused by being asked too many questions at once, attempting to understand complex instructions, or experiencing caregiver stress
- Being touched or having their personal space invaded, such as when bathing or changing clothes
- Observing your rage or frustration
- Being chastised or told they were mistaken
- Being rushed
- Not being permitted to do or go somewhere
- They were forced to do something they did not want to do.
- Feeling endangered
- Confusion about what was going on
- Thinking something wasn’t happening (for example, accusing you of things you didn’t do, such as having an affair or stealing things)
Is it possible that the way their body feels is to blame
Are they exhibiting depressive symptoms, such as sleeping more or less than usual, eating more or less than usual, and showing little interest in normal activities?
Methods for Keeping Your Loved One Calm
Make a plan and see if it helps once you’ve determined what’s causing the aggression. If your first plan fails, try a different one. You may need to try several approaches, and no single strategy is guaranteed to work every time.
- If nothing seems to be working, seek advice from a doctor or a counselor.
- For aggression caused by contact with you or others:
- Even if you are frustrated, angry, or sad, speak as softly and calmly as possible. If necessary and safe, take a few deep breaths and step away for a few minutes.
- Try to console your loved ones rather than correct them, even if what they say is false.
- Be as patient and understanding as you possibly can.
- Don’t point out what they’re doing wrong; this can aggravate the situation.
- Instead of telling them what not to do, be specific about what you want them to do. For example, instead of saying, “Stay out of the kitchen,” say, “Let’s sit in this chair.”
For aggression that occurs while bathing, dressing, toileting, or eating:
- Divide the task into simple steps and give one or two directions at a time.
- Take your time, and don’t rush them.
- Before you do anything, especially before you touch them, explain what you’re going to do.
- Give them straightforward options.
Aggression triggered by their environment or routine:
- Alter your routine. If they get upset when you go out in public in the evening, try doing those activities in the morning instead.
- If they get upset when they aren’t allowed to go somewhere, try hiding doors with fabric or sheets or posting a “Do Not Enter” sign.
- Limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- When speaking with them, turn off any background noises such as the radio or television.
- Avoid loud places, such as loud restaurants.
- Increase the brightness of indoor lighting, especially at night.
Alzheimer’s behavioral symptoms
As dementia progresses, you may notice more changes in the person’s behavior, which can be challenging to manage. Examining their causes and determining the individual’s needs can be beneficial.
When a person with dementia begins to behave in unusual ways, some people may mistake this for a symptom of the condition, which isn’t always the case. It is critical to look beyond the behavior and consider what may be causing it.
There could be specific reasons for the dementia patient’s unusual behavior, such as:
- their dissatisfaction or fear about how dementia affects them (such as memory loss or language problems)
- their mental and physical well-being
- their difficulties with orientation, such as not knowing the what year, month, or time of day it is, or failing to recognize familiar places
- the quantity and quality of their contact with others
- their physical surroundings – for example, if the room is too dark, the person may become confused and distressed because they cannot determine where they are.
- A sense of being out of control, frustration with how others behave, or a sense that they are not being heard or understood
- Dementia can alter a person’s personality and habits, resulting in behavioral changes. For example, they may no longer be able to do things they enjoy or pursue their interests without assistance, or they may exhibit depressive symptoms.
- Knowing the person – how they react to and deal with situations, their preferences, routines, and history – can aid in providing support. For example, if a person has always been impatient or anxious, dementia may make them even more so.
Different types of behavior
The person’s behavior may change in various ways due to their response to various needs. This page lists some of the most common changes. You can take your loved ones to Alexi Senior Living for memory care facilities.
You may have heard these referred to as ‘challenging behaviors.’ However, we refer to them as ‘challenging behavior’ instead. It is critical to remember that the individual is not attempting to be difficult. The behavior can be as difficult for them as it is for those who support them.
- Habitual behavior
- Following, trailing, and checking
- Hiding, hoarding, and losing possessions
- Loss of inhibitions
- Restlessness and agitation
- abrasive behavior
- Sleep disturbance and night waking
- Social isolation
Alexi provides assisted living facility near me for your loved ones. Read out our another post about do Alzheimer patients know they have it. You can contact us at any time at 815-534-5389.