Alzheimer’s-related aggression often takes family caregivers by surprise, since this behavior isn’t usually a normal part of their aging loved one’s personality. Although it may be distressing to watch your loved one suddenly exhibit negative emotions, it’s important to take this as a wake-up call. Your loved one’s Alzheimer’s disease is progressing to the point where his or her care needs have changed, which means you may need to update the care plan with new strategies as well as more opportunities to receive assistance with keeping your loved one calm.
1. Identify the Triggers
Aggressive behavior may sometimes seem like it comes out of nowhere, but it usually has a specific cause. Seniors with Alzheimer’s have different triggers for this type of behavior, and you can identify your loved one’s triggers by making some observations. Grab a journal and start taking notes when aggressive behavior occurs. You may be able to identify patterns, such as your loved one becoming aggressive about a half hour before dinner when he or she is hungry and you’re busy. Looking for patterns gives you a simple way to address your loved one’s needs before he or she gets upset.
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. Edmonton Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
2. Follow a Routine
A routine gives you a starting point for minimizing triggers such as hunger, boredom, and fatigue, and it also helps you quickly get your loved one back on track if he or she begins to get antagonized. Reminding your loved one that it’s time to eat or offering help with exercise may soothe him or her, since it lets your parent know everything is under control.
3. Use Distractions
Your loved one may also exhibit aggressive behavior because he or she is unable to understand what’s happening around him or her. For instance, your loved one may suddenly become angry about an event that occurred in the past because he or she feels like it’s happening right now. Your loved one may also get aggressive if he or she wants to do something you cannot allow for safety reasons. When this happens, try to shift your loved one’s attention to a different activity. You can distract your parent by moving to a different room together, playing music, or offering to play a favorite game.
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 senior care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.
4. Recognize Your Loved One’s Strength
You should never underestimate how strong seniors can be when they’re angry. Physical aggression puts you and your loved one in danger, and you both deserve to be safe. If your loved one begins to hit, kick, or shove, quietly move away. You may also need to call for backup from another caregiver or local emergency services if your loved one won’t calm down for you alone.
5. Find Someone to Listen
For the most part, caregiving has many joyous aspects that can keep you going. However, managing aggression can be physically and mentally taxing. You may find yourself feeling anxious at the beginning of each day, and it’s important to reach out to people who can help you feel better. Try joining a support group, talking to a counselor, or just phoning a friend. All these options can help you manage your own responses to your loved one’s aggression.
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 Edmonton elderly 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. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (780) 977-7379 to learn more about our reliable in-home Alzheimer’s care services.