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Alzheimer’s or dementia can enter a combative stage of dementia in some people.
Entering in a combative stage is a natural part of the disease. It can happen even if the older adult’s personality has been kind and non-violent throughout their lives. The brain degeneration causes the combative stage.
Why do Dementia Patients get Angry?
Because the elderly are not able to communicate their needs, the elderly with dementia can lash out if they’re afraid, frustrated, angry, or in agony or discomfort. The above are the reasons why dementia patients get angry.
The aggressive outbursts of emotions can be scary and challenging for caregivers to handle. The elderly can scream, curse, bite, grab, hit, kick, push, or throw things.
One might feel attacked, and instinctively can argue and fight back – but that makes the circumstances worse.
Handling a patient with dementia is exhausting; one needs to have a lot of patience and understanding of the situation. Upon that, the anger in dementia can cause an even more challenging situation.
The following are some ways in which one can deal with anger in dementia.
1. Check the environment properly.
There are cases where the unseen physical discomfort can be the root of the problem. However, in other elderly, it could be more visible irritants in the environment, like too much noise or the several people in a room.
Try to remove the irritant from the environment that may be causing the elderly to feel agitated.
2. Communication is the key.
One thing anybody can do is to add to a parent, or senior loved one’s confusion or irritation. Please make sure you communicate with them calmly and clearly. Just sit with them and make them understand what they are doing. Using simple words is better than using complex sentences or messages.
3. Create a routine or schedule.
Having a regular routine can eliminate some of the uncertainty in a loved one’s life. The habits influence the behavior the busier the elderly, the better the anger in dementia can get. Think about a regular time of day for having meals, scheduling doctor’s visits, taking medicine, etc. Set a schedule and routine and make sure they stick to them. One can take the help of a caregiver to do so.
4. Give the Elderly their own space.
Giving the elderly their space can be beneficial. Remember, it may be necessary for safety. Give the elderly their space if they start to show signs of aggression or irritation. It can also help stop episodes of rage or violence.
5. Take care of the physical needs.
Sometimes it seems to be the problem is a symptom of another underlying difficulty. If the elderly are experiencing physical pain but can’t express it to you due to embarrassment, the agitation could turn into aggression. Some conditions cause the aggression that one can see in the elderly. So make sure to evaluate if you think there is an underlying problem.
6. Try to redirect.
Get the elderly to focus on something aside from what makes them upset; one can try to redirect the elderly from the negative emotions they were feeling. Find something that is comforting as well as challenging for them. Simple tasks like folding the laundry or talking walks a change of environment can make much difference.
Redirecting the attention of the elderly can help manage anger in dementia.
7. Be Empathetic and try to understand.
Most of the time, it is the confusion that causes anger in dementia—the uncertainty about memory loss. So make sure to address the confusion to manage the anger in dementia. Try to be empathetic and understand the reasons why the elderly are showing frustration and anger.
These above are the reasons for how one can deal with anger in dementia. It is not an easy task to do, but you can take help from caregivers. Appoint a caregiver who can do all the things for the elderly and can help them to stay happy. They will do things like giving medicines on time, setting a schedule, and taking the elderly on a walk. Caregivers take care of everything for the elderly in one’s absence. And especially if there is a sudden emergency, one is assured that the caregiver is with the elderly.
Some services offer caregivers at home so you can just contact them and be stress-free.