Touching Hearts at Home is pleased to welcome Carlye Wilson as our new Administrative Assistant!
What To Do When A Senior Parent With Alzheimer’s Gets Aggressive
Alzheimer’s can cause significant mood and personality changes in seniors. As the disease progresses it can make a senior parent who previously has been good-natured become aggressive, mean, or combative. It’s very difficult for family caregivers to know what to do when that happens. If you’re experiencing this right now you’re not alone. And there are things you can do to help your senior parent and yourself. Alzheimer’s care services are strongly recommended for seniors with Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s care providers that specialize in Alzheimer’s care have training and education in methods of communication that can calm seniors down and defuse aggressive or combative behavior.
In addition to Alzheimer’s care, family caregivers can use these tips to manage a senior parent who is getting aggressive because of Alzheimer’s:
Stay Calm and Patient
It’s hard not to take it personally when a senior parent is aggressive, but it’s important to not react out of anger. Dealing with aggression requires patience and a calm demeanor. Try not to react emotionally or become confrontational. Remember that the aggression is likely a result of the disease, not a personal attack.
First and foremost, ensure the safety of both your senior parent and yourself. If the situation becomes physically threatening, consider moving to a safe space or removing objects that could be used as weapons. It’s always ok to take a moment to collect yourself in a tense situation.
Identify Triggers Of Aggressive Behaviors
Try to identify the triggers for aggressive behavior. It could be frustration, confusion, pain, or discomfort. Keep a journal to track the behavior patterns and potential triggers.
Speak Gently and Comfortingly
Approach your senior parent in a gentle and reassuring manner. Use a soothing tone of voice and maintain eye contact to establish a connection. Avoid raising your voice or using aggressive language.
Redirect, Redirect, Redirect
Redirecting a senior parent’s attention is always a good way to deal with scary or threatening behavior. If the aggression seems to stem from frustration or agitation, try redirecting your parent’s attention to a different activity or topic. Offering a favorite snack, playing calming music, or engaging in a simple, enjoyable task can help redirect their focus.
Minimize Environmental Stressors
Create a calm and structured environment at home. Minimize noise, clutter, and distractions. Consistency in routines can also help reduce anxiety and aggression.
In some cases, medication prescribed by a healthcare provider may be necessary to manage aggression. Consult with a healthcare professional, preferably one experienced in Alzheimer’s care, to discuss appropriate medications and their potential side effects.
Involve Healthcare Professionals
Seek guidance and support from healthcare professionals who specialize in Alzheimer’s care. They can help assess your parent’s condition, offer advice on managing aggression, and suggest appropriate interventions.
Educate Yourself and Maintain Emotional Support
Understanding Alzheimer’s disease and its progression is crucial for caregivers. Knowing what to expect as the disease advances can help you prepare and respond effectively to behavioral changes.
Caring for a senior parent with Alzheimer’s can be emotionally draining. Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist to help cope with the stress and emotional challenges associated with caregiving. Respite care can give you a break from caregiving while ensuring your senior parent is safe.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Alzheimer’s Care Services in Franklin TN, please contact the caring staff at Touching Hearts at Home. Serving Middle Tennessee (Nashville, Brentwood, Murfreesboro, Rutherford, Franklin, Spring Hill, Columbia, Pulaski, and more!) Call today: 629-203-7925.
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