6 Ways to Handle an Aggressive Senior Living with Dementia

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One of the most challenging aspects of caring for a senior loved one with dementia is the aggressive behaviors he or she may frequently exhibit. Although these physical and verbal outbursts can be difficult to manage, there are ways to control aggression and enhance your relationship. Speak with your loved one’s primary care physician to learn as much about the progressive condition as possible, including the causes and effects of combative behavior. You can also use the tips mentioned below to manage your loved one’s aggression.

1. Communicate Clearly

The inability to understand what you and others are saying could cause frustration and increased aggression in your loved one. When speaking with your parent, talk clearly, and avoid using challenging words and phrases. Give your loved one time to respond instead of rushing him or her.

2. Maintain Consistency

Changing your loved one’s daily routine is sometimes necessary, but you should maintain as much normalcy as possible. A consistent schedule could ease your loved one’s mind and lower the risk of aggression. If you need to change mealtimes or activities, take your time when transitioning to the new routine instead of forcing it on your loved one.

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. Pembroke Pines 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.

3. Be Respectful

Seniors living with dementia deserve privacy and respect regardless of what stage of the condition they’re in. When older adults feel disrespected, they could lash out verbally and physically. Always announce yourself before entering your loved one’s room, and encourage him or her to do as many tasks as possible independently before offering assistance.

4. Remain Calm

Yelling could cause an aggressive situation to escalate and put you and your loved one’s safety at risk. Remain calm, even when you feel disrespected or sad. To maintain patience, step away from the immediate area and give your loved one time to calm down. Don’t return until you have a positive mindset and the patience to continue an activity, conversation, or specific task.

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 at-home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

5. Check Your Loved One’s Comfort Levels

Seniors with dementia may display combative behavior when their needs aren’t being met. As dementia progresses, it may become difficult for your loved one to speak clearly and coherently. If your loved one is experiencing discomfort or wants to share something important but lacks the communication skills necessary to get the point across, he or she may display aggressive behavior to get your attention. Ensuring your loved one is comfortable throughout the day, especially during meals and while bathing, could prevent verbal or physical outbursts.

6. Keep Your Loved One Socially Active

Boredom and loneliness are two of the top causes of aggression in older adults with dementia. Find purposeful activities your loved one can do to enhance his or her mood, such as gardening, walking, pet sitting, and doing arts and crafts. Taking up hobbies allows seniors to socialize and stimulates their senses, which can reduce aggression. 

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 Pembroke Pines senior 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 (954) 374-8273 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.