For seniors with Alzheimer’s and their families, the combative stage of Alzheimer’s is one of the most challenging parts of living with the disease. Your aging loved one may suddenly change from being your sweet, loving family member to someone you barely recognize. Aggression, wandering, and refusing to follow his or her normal routine are just a few signs your loved one has entered this stage. While you can’t always prevent aggressive behavior, you can take steps to reduce it so your loved one stays safe.
1. This Phase Can Cover Several Stages
Family caregivers often feel as though this stage is lasting forever, and there’s usually a good reason for this feeling. Combative behavior can start in the middle stages and last until seniors reach the point where they’re simply no longer able to act out aggressively. Most caregivers notice these behavioral changes occur around the same time there’s a marked reduction in their loved one’s abilities.
The cognitive challenges that accompany Alzheimer’s often leave aging adults unable to manage everyday tasks, which puts their safety and health at risk. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of senior care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.
2. Combative Behavior Increases with Frustration
Seniors with Alzheimer’s are often aware of their mental changes to some degree. Your loved one has established a set of routines over the years and may get extremely angry if he or she is suddenly asked not to cook because of safety concerns. Your parent may attempt to push you out of the way if he or she thinks it’s time to go to work and you suggest staying inside. Finding ways to help your loved one feel a sense of purpose can reduce some of this frustration.
3. Some Behaviors Are Triggered by the Environment
You might notice certain things tend to trigger challenging behavior. Your loved one may start to get aggressive when he or she is physically uncomfortable because of incontinence, hunger, or tight clothing. He or she may be agitated by outside noise or even the lights making shadows in the room. Try to look for physical issues you can correct to increase your loved one’s comfort.
Professional caregivers with specialized experience in Alzheimer’s care can be a wonderful source of support for older adults with the disease. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Pembroke Pines Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
4. Physical Restraint Can Lead to Greater Harm
A senior who is attempting to break down a door to get outside is a danger to him or herself and you. The same is true when an aging adult begins to try to hit people or throw objects. While your first instinct may be to hold your loved one back, this can lead to everyone involved getting injured. Your loved one may also get even more angry. Try to use tactics such as switching caregivers to manage the behavior instead.
5. Distractions Can Be Helpful
Your caregiver tool kit can come in handy right now. Set up a few calming activities you can use to distract your loved one. Play his or her favorite song when you see the first signs of agitation. You can also hand your loved one a fidget toy to keep him or her occupied while you perform tasks around the home.
6. Most Family Caregivers Need Assistance at This Stage
You might have made it to this point feeling pretty good about your ability to care for your loved one alone. However, combativeness is a sign your loved one’s care needs are changing. You need assistance to soothe his or her behavior, and you may also need someone to step in and allow you to take breaks so you can control your emotions when things get heated.
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. Pembroke Pines Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Call us at (954) 374-8273 today to talk to one of our compassionate Care Managers about our high-quality Alzheimer’s home care services.