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How To Handle Dementia Outbursts

Do Try To Be Forgiving And Patient

Dementia and Anger Outbursts (3 Mistakes That You’re Making)

Do not forget that dementia is the condition that results in irrational behavior and causes dementia sufferers to act the way they do. The patients demand plenty of patience and forgiveness from the people looking after them. Have the heart to let things go instead of carrying grudges around for something that the patient may not be in control of.

Five Tips To Manage Aggressive Behaviors

While knowing the common causes of aggressive behaviors helps to minimize their occurrence, these behaviors can still happen. How can you safely manage these behaviors at the time they occur?

When you are on the receiving end of an outburst or a physically aggressive behavior, your safetyas well as that of the one with Alzheimers, and the safety of anyone else to whom the aggression is being directedis paramount. Here are some tips for managing the immediate situation:

  • When the aggression is being directed at you, keep a safe distance from the one with Alzheimers, and remain calm, speaking slowly, softly, and with reassurance
  • When the aggression is directed at someone else who needs your assistance, step in between them, and have the victim step away as you do that. Again, maintain a calm demeanor, speaking slowly, softly, and with reassurance
  • If necessary to protect the one with Alzheimers from hurting him or herself, call for help from others. If necessary, call 911
  • Once everyone is at a comfortable and safe distance from each other, continue to speak softly and slowly with the person with Alzheimers
  • Re-direct: change the focus to another activity. A calming activity that persons can comfortably participate in is best.
  • Do Not Take It Personally

    Caretaking for people with dementia carries a lot of emotional and mental weight with it. If anger and aggression outbursts do occur, it is important that you, as the caregiver, do not take it personally.

    These fits often come from sources that are completely unrelated to you as the caregiver. Yet, it is important for you to remember that these attacks are not coming from a place of maliciousness.

    As a caregiver, it is also important to be forgiving of yourself and build in plenty of me time. Self-care and looking after your own health physical, mental, and emotional is just as important. Your loved one will be able to sense your own distress and emotions as well.

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    Things To Do After Dealing With Aggressive Behavior In Dementia

    1. Learn from what happenedAfter giving yourself a chance to calm down and de-stress from the episode of aggressive dementia behavior, take a step back to see what you can learn from the situation.

    Analyzing the situation also helps you take it a little less personally and makes it easier to think about what you could do differently next time to try to avoid an aggressive reaction.

    Think about possible triggers, which responses helped calm things down, and which responses seemed to make the situation worse.

    It often helps to take notes on your observations to see if you can spot patterns or figure out new ways to try to prevent a similar outburst in the future or cool things down if it does happen.

    2. Find sources of supportIts essential for your well-being to talk with people who understand and can help you cope with these tough situations and deal with the conflicting emotions.

    Share your experiences with members of a caregiver support group, a counselor or therapist, or with supportive friends or family members.

    Getting your feelings out is an important outlet for stress. Plus, you might get additional tips and ideas for managing aggressive dementia behavior from others who have dealt with it.

    3. Consider medicationWhen non-drug techniques arent working and challenging behaviors become too much to safely handle, it might be time to work with their doctor to carefully experiment with behavioral medications.

    Verbal Abuse From Elderly Parents Is Really Responsive Behavior

    How to Handle Dementia Outbursts in Public ...

    Perhaps nothing is as stressful or upsetting than caring for a senior who has verbal or physical outbursts on a regular basis. Such outbursts are referred to as responsive behaviour, indicating that there is a reason behind the behaviour it is the person with dementias way of communicating. If youre caring for a senior who has verbal or physical outbursts know you are not alone.

    More than one-third of people with dementia have exhibited aggressive behavior, especially those whose condition is in the moderate to severe stages. Knowing the cause of the behaviour, how to react in the moment and ways to reduce incidents of physical or verbal outbursts can help you cope.

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    Dealing With Aggressive Dementia Patients

    One of the most difficult situations care professionals and families ask about is how to handle a combative dementia patient. It is crucial to recognize that labeling a person living with dementia as combative is not helpful. Behavior is communication, and people living with dementia may strike out, yell, kick, or engage in other physically aggressive behavior as a means of communicating what they are perceiving. Angry outbursts may be a sign that the person is in pain, is thirsty, hungry, tired, frightened, or frustrated.

    A commonly overlooked trigger related to dementia and anger outbursts has to do with the ways visual processing often deteriorates for people living with Alzheimers disease and other types of dementia. As the occipital lobe at the back of the brain deteriorates, the brains ability to make sense of visual inputs coming through the eyes is compromised. What gets labeled as dementia aggression and paranoia may be a simple result of the fact that some people with dementia lose peripheral vision, depth perception, do not always differentiate between things that are similar in color when they are right next to each other, and may not process movement fluidly.

    Causes Of Agitation And Aggression

    Most of the time, agitation and aggression happen for a reason. When they happen, try to find the cause. If you deal with the causes, the behavior may stop. For example, the person may have:

    Look for early signs of agitation or aggression. If you see the signs, you can deal with the cause before problem behaviors start. Try not to ignore the problem. Doing nothing can make things worse.

    A doctor may be able to help. He or she can give the person a medical exam to find any problems that may cause agitation and aggression. Also, ask the doctor if medicine is needed to prevent or reduce agitation or aggression.

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    Whats The Best Way To Manage Agitation Related To Dementia

    You notice your loved one becoming more forgetful. She cannot recall her visit with her granddaughters yesterday. She claims she took her medications this morning, yet you find them untouched in her pill case. You wonder how this mild-mannered woman has become so angry, so quickly. She is often frightened now, disoriented, and unpredictable. Yet she still remembers every detail of your wedding day, the names of your four children, and how to play her favorite piano pieces. When you sing together, time temporarily stands still.

    Your loved one received a diagnosis of Alzheimers disease. Nights are the hardest time for her. You worry about her safety when she wanders through the house. She almost broke the door last week you can tell her arm still hurts when you bathe her. She resists and yells at you when you take her to the bathroom. She has started to show behavioral symptoms of dementia.

    Alzheimers Care From Assisting Hands

    How to Deal with Aggressive Dementia Patients (4 Strategies)

    Seniors living with Alzheimers require constant care and attention. Caregivers help keep patients with Alzheimers safe and comfortable. Families who are no longer able to provide continual care to a loved one suffering from dementia have the option to turn to a trusted memory care service provider. Assisting Hands Home Care offers a compassionate approach to caring for patients with Alzheimers.

    Common activities that Assisting Hands Home Care caregivers provide include learning about the seniors interests and history with the goal to develop a personal relationship and engage in conversation. Mental stimulation is a priority as well. Caregivers play card games, do puzzles and take walks with seniors to keep them engaged. The most valuable skill offered by Assisting Hands Home Care is a show of compassion toward those living with any stage of Alzheimers disease.

    Assisting Hands Home Care offers reliable, in-home senior care to elderly individuals suffering from Alzheimers disease. The home care agencys non-medical memory care is critical to families who lack the ability to provide around the clock care to a loved one with dementia. Initial discussions with the family are held in order to develop customized memory care plans. Assisting Hands is dedicated to the elder populations, serving their needs with kindness and vital attention.

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    Speak With A Care Advisor

    Wondering how to support a loved ones goal of being able to age at home? Call a Care Advisor today at or and learn how home care can support your needs.

    Always aim to simplify your surroundings when you notice signs of agitation. Move into a quieter space. A calm environment will often calm your loved one. Reducing the amount of non-essential items is a great way to increase feelings of calm in a home. Bright, distracting patterns and moving objects can confuse your loved one. One or two meaningful, personal pictures will offer a more calming environment than 20 frames.

    Clutter causes your loved ones senses to live in overdrive. If they are constantly filtering out what is important and necessary, then their brain cant relax. Your loved one will not know what to focus on. Help to calm them by limiting the things that surround them. Clutter also makes it easier to lose important objects or not see something that is out in the open.

    Lights are another stimulating presence. Particularly in the evenings and late afternoon. It is important to switch from bright overhead lights to smaller, dimmer lights as the sun goes down. The glare and reflections from lights off windows, mirrors or picture frames can be startling or even frightening for your loved one.

    Understanding The Causes And Finding Ways To Cope

    While some people living with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia remain pleasant and easy-going throughout their lives, others develop intense feelings of anger and aggression.

    When someone with dementia lashes out at you for seemingly no reason, it’s normal to feel surprised, discouraged, hurt, irritated, and even angry at them. Learning what causes anger in dementia, and how best to respond, can help you cope.

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    More About Dementia And Being Mean

    Understanding how dementia changes our thinking skills is the beginning of understanding why someone experiencing dementia might be mean, and how to avoid getting aggressive and combative dementia behaviors.

    But this is not a simple problem, so theres more to think about. In my next article, Dementia Anger Stage, Ill explain how wethe companions of people experiencing dementiaare actually in control of their moods rather than them. This is one of the key reasons for why relationships that include dementia are different from anything weve ever experienced before.

    Do Not Shy Away From Asking For Help

    Managing Dementia Outbursts

    No one may have all the answers especially when it comes to taking care of a person with dementia. Try doing research on how their behavior changes and what needs to be done to help them live their lives without too many complications. Hire help when it becomes too much as it also ensures that you do not become too frustrated or drained. When you have multiple family members who can help, ask everyone to pitch in and look after the patient so that you can get some personal space to breathe and re-energize when it is your time to look after the patient. When you feel like you can no longer look after your loved one at your own home, it may be time to consider assisted living. In such case, look into dementia care homes that can provide specially trained professionals.

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    Ten Tips For Communicating With A Person With Dementia

    We arenât born knowing how to communicate with a person with dementiaâbut we can learn. Improving your communication skills will help make caregiving less stressful and will likely improve the quality of your relationship with your loved one. Good communication skills will also enhance your ability to handle the difficult behavior you may encounter as you care for a person with a dementing illness.

  • Set a positive mood for interaction. Your attitude and body language communicate your feelings and thoughts more strongly than your words do. Set a positive mood by speaking to your loved one in a pleasant and respectful manner. Use facial expressions, tone of voice, and physical touch to help convey your message and show your feelings of affection.
  • Get the personâs attention. Limit distractions and noiseâturn off the radio or TV, close the curtains or shut the door, or move to quieter surroundings. Before speaking, make sure you have her attention address her by name, identify yourself by name and relation, and use nonverbal cues and touch to help keep her focused. If she is seated, get down to her level and maintain eye contact.
  • Listen with your ears, eyes, and heart. Be patient in waiting for your loved oneâs reply. If she is struggling for an answer, itâs okay to suggest words. Watch for nonverbal cues and body language, and respond appropriately. Always strive to listen for the meaning and feelings that underlie the words.
  • S To Calm Agitation And Aggression In Older Adults With Alzheimer’s

    The most important issue caregivers need to understand is seniors with dementia are experiencing their own realities. In order to appease a seniors agitation and aggression, caregivers need to tap into this reality and embrace it.

    How to Handle Difficult Behaviors When a Senior Has Alzheimers

    Here are 10 tips for coping when an older adult with dementia exhibits difficult behaviors.

  • Music

    Music therapy helps seniors calm down and reflect on happier times. According to research from the Alzheimers Association, listening to music releases dopamine in the brain and triggers happy feelings throughout the body.

    Music also improves memory function and encourages social engagement.

  • Aromatherapy

    According to a study in BJPsych Advances, using scents like lavender can reduce difficult behaviors in older adults with dementia.

    Benefits include improved sleep, decreased agitation, higher concentration and reduced hallucinations.

  • Touch

    A gentle human touch can create a bond between the caregiver and the senior, resulting in a calming effect. It also helps increase trust. A soft back rub or gentle hand pat may be a way to reduce agitation in a senior loved one.

  • Pet Therapy

    According to Every Day Health, pet therapy has many benefits for seniors with dementia. They include decreased agitation, increased physical activity, increased appetite and joy.

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    Hallucinations & Verbal Outbursts

    Dementia sufferers may have hallucinations or delusions and believe things that are obviously not true. Cursing, threatening and shouting are probably expressions of anger and are part and parcel of the illness.

    Calmly state your perception of the situation, but dont try and convince the patient they are wrong. Stay calm and reassuring and validate your loved ones feelings. Redirecting the patients attention may help, but if the symptoms are very bad to discuss the situation with the doctor. He or she may be able to provide medication.

    Tips To Reduce Nighttime Restlessness

    10 tips for responding to dementia anger

    Improve sleep hygiene. Provide a comfortable bed, reduce noise and light, and play soothing music to help your loved one get to sleep. If they prefer to sleep in a chair or on the couch, make sure they cant fall out while sleeping.

    Keep a regular sleep schedule. Be consistent with the time for sleeping and keep the nighttime routine the same. For example, give the person a bath and some warm milk before bed.

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    Causes Of Anger And Aggression In People Who Suffer From Dementia

    Like with anyone, anger and aggression can surface from an abundance of sources. Our reasons for getting angry or upset may differ greatly from one another, but there are certainly some underlying themes and patterns. In people who suffer from dementia, there are three major triggers or causes of anger and aggression.

    Five Ways To Help Identify The Causes Of Problem Behavior

  • Look at your loved ones body language and imagine what they might be feeling or trying to express.
  • Ask yourself, what happened just before the problem behavior started? Did something trigger the behavior?
  • Are the patients needs being met? Is your loved one hungry, thirsty, or in pain?
  • Does changing the environment by introducing favorite music, for example, help to comfort the person?
  • How did you react to the problem behavior? Did your reaction help to soothe the patient or did it make the behavior worse?
  • Common Causes of Problem Behavior

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    Helpful Tips For Caregivers

    To decrease agitation and aggression with dementia, caregivers can help their loved ones in the following ways:

    • Find a multidisciplinary team of specialists. This may include a psychiatrist to carefully consider the risks and benefits of medications for managing behavior, a geriatrician to optimize your loved ones medical situations, and an occupational therapist to consider modifications of a persons living environment and daily routine.
    • Go for a walk or on an outing for a change of scenery. Physical activity has additional benefits on , and .
    • Add massage and touch therapy, or just provide a calming hand massage.
    • Incorporate music into your loved ones daily routine.
    • Notice the first signs of agitation. Nondrug options work best the earlier they are used.
    • Get creative: discover what works and try using different senses. Aromatherapy, an activity such as folding laundry, brushing hair, or dancing can all be calming.
    • Consult with your physicians. Medications are often prescribed as first-line interventions despite what we know about the effectiveness of nondrug options.
    • Educate all the people caring for your loved one on the interventions that work best, and check in with them about how these approaches are working.


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