Alzheimer’s affects every senior differently, but many experience behavioral problems at some point in the disease’s progression. To reduce the risk of combative behavior or prevent episodes from worsening, your family needs to develop a few key strategies. Below are some facts about the combative stage of Alzheimer’s and steps family caregivers can take to address the issue.
1. Discomfort May Be the Cause
Physical aches and pains could cause your elderly loved one to act aggressively. The combativeness could also be due to discomfort with particular family members and friends or a professional caregiver. Sit down with your loved one and determine if his or her needs are being met. If they’re not, you need to make adjustments, whether that’s altering the current treatment plan, modifying the daily schedule and list of activities, or changing caregivers.
The cognitive challenges that accompany Alzheimer’s often leave aging adults unable to manage everyday tasks, putting 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 elder 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. It Can Happen Suddenly
Seniors with Alzheimer’s typically experience combative behavior in the later stages of the disease, and aggression can occur suddenly. While your loved one may be angry and more aggressive at specific times of day or in response to particular activities, behavioral challenges can happen without warning or for no apparent reason. Be prepared to handle the verbal or physical outbursts by developing methods that can calm your loved one and deescalate the situation.
3. Distractions Can Be Helpful
Most verbal and physical outbursts in seniors with Alzheimer’s disease are due to environmental factors. The television could be too loud, or having a large number of guests in the house could be too much for your loved one to handle. Limit the distractions within the home. Refrain from having too many guests over during times when your loved one isn’t at his or her best. An overactive environment, clutter, and large crowds could overstimulate his or her mind.
4. Effective Communication Is Key
As Alzheimer’s progresses, it could become more challenging for your loved one to keep up with conversations. The disease typically makes seniors lose their train of thought quickly or have difficulty finding the right words. Ineffective communication prevents seniors from expressing themselves, so they may lash out to make a point. While the intentions aren’t malicious, the aggression could lead to biting, punching, and kicking. You need to find positive ways for your loved one to communicate, such as with nonverbal methods like hand gestures.
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 Allen 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.
5. Familiarity Is Essential
Moving your parent to his or her favorite room during a combative episode is often a good strategy. The familiarity of objects, people, and places can reassure seniors and make them feel less agitated or confused. Keep your loved one’s favorite objects nearby as well as a list of his or her favorite songs, hobbies, and foods in case you need to use one of those things as a quick distraction to redirect his or her attention to something positive.
6. Patience Is Critical
Regardless of how upset your parent becomes, you need to stay positive. Responding negatively could cause the situation to escalate and lead to more chaos. If you’re patient, you can think logically and keep your loved one calm. Some of the ways to remain calm include listening to soothing music or leaving the room for a few minutes or until your loved one’s episode has stopped. Walking away can prevent you from saying or doing things you might regret later.
Symptoms such as agitation, confusion, anger, and frustration are common in elderly people with Alzheimer’s. 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. Allen Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional Alzheimer’s care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (972) 548-0392.