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How to Handle an Aging Adult with Dementia Who Becomes Aggressive

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As dementia progresses, aggressive behavior may increase, and it’s often related to fear, worry, pain, or restlessness. However, it may simply develop for no discernible reason. Here are some ways to manage an aggressive senior loved one with dementia.

Maintain Routines

Seniors with dementia may be unable to tolerate changes in their daily routines, which may trigger aggressive episodes. Help your loved one maintain a regular routine of bathing, eating, and dressing at the same time every day. This way, your loved one won’t encounter any surprises in his or her structured routine. If you need to modify your loved one’s routine, gently explain why, then reassure him or her that the routine will soon return to normal.

Symptoms such as agitation, confusion, anger, and frustration are common in elderly people with dementia. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Edmonton seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

Stay Calm

Speaking in a calm and reassuring manner can keep aggression to a minimum in seniors who have dementia. If your loved one feels you’re becoming impatient or anxious, he or she may become fearful and aggressive. Even if you’re feeling frustrated or stressed, never reveal your feelings to your loved one. If you’re facing challenges or are otherwise unable to handle caring for your loved one, make an appointment with a mental health professional who can help you manage your feelings. Finding a way to manage your emotions may make caregiving a more positive experience for both you and your loved one.

The cognitive challenges that accompany dementia often leave aging adults unable to manage everyday tasks, which puts their safety and health at risk. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Create a Peaceful Environment

Seniors with dementia may become agitated, aggressive, or otherwise upset when the environment is noisy or chaotic. They often do better in quiet environments. Turn the volume down on the television, turn off loud music, and if there are people talking loudly in the room, politely ask them to lower their voices. To further enhance the ambiance in the room, play soothing music and light an aromatherapy candle to prevent aggressive episodes. Maintaining a calm environment is especially important for seniors with dementia who also have a condition known as “sundowning.” This unusual phenomenon occurs in certain seniors with dementia who become confused around the time the sun goes down. Sundowning can cause aggression, fear, and confusion, but maintaining a peaceful environment can prevent these behaviors from escalating into an unpleasant event.

Avoid Trigger Foods

Certain foods and beverages can trigger mood changes and aggressive behavior in seniors who have dementia, including sugary items such as cookies, cakes, and ice cream as well as foods and drinks containing caffeine. In some cases, foods high in sodium can trigger aggressive behavior in seniors with dementia, especially in those with poorly managed high blood pressure. When blood pressure gets too high, seniors may feel ill. Cognitively impaired people may become agitated when they don’t feel well, causing them to act aggressively.

Caring for a loved one with dementia 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 Edmonton home care services 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. Schedule a free in-home consultation by giving us a call today at (780) 977-7379.