Combative behavior is typical in the middle and late stages of dementia. The aggression could be in the form of verbal or physical outbursts. Managing the behavior can be challenging for family caregivers, but overreacting could escalate the tension. Continue reading to find strategies that can help you manage aggression in a senior loved one with dementia.
1. Try Music Therapy
Even as dementia progresses, seniors continue to maintain their music memory, allowing them to associate happier times with various songs. Play music to alleviate aggression and boost your loved one’s mental and physical health. Avoid playing fast-paced music because it can cause frustration and hyperactivity in older adults with neurological conditions such as dementia. The objective is to keep your loved one calm and trigger positive memories.
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. Allen 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.
2. Speak Clearly
Combative behavior can erupt suddenly in older adults with dementia, especially if they’re unable to keep up with conversations. Remember your loved one’s processing speeds begin to decrease due to dementia, affecting the ability to comprehend. Clear communication strategies could alleviate aggressive behavior and motivate your loved one to socialize with others. When you use a soft tone, avoid asking multiple questions, and give your loved one plenty of time to respond, you can prevent confusion and irritation.
3. Create a Safe Place
Seniors with dementia need private spaces where they can do things they enjoy, such as playing music, watching television, and drawing. Having a safe, quiet room is essential because it provides the separation seniors with dementia often crave. It’s okay to check on your loved one from time to time to ensure he or she is safe, but you should always announce yourself before entering the private area to prevent aggressive behavior. The safe place could also be the area your loved one goes to when he or she needs to calm down. While in the room, your loved one can decompress before rejoining you and other family members.
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 senior home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
4. Maintain a Routine
Inconsistency can increase the risk of aggression in seniors with dementia. Uncertainty leads to feelings of fear and anxiety, causing them to lash out. Maintain a daily routine when it comes to mealtimes, activities, and bedtime. The consistency could give your loved one a sense of normalcy and boost his or her mental and emotional health. It’s okay to alter schedules as your loved one’s needs change, but try to keep the times as consistent as possible.
5. Check Comfort Levels
Dementia affects how the brain functions and can make it difficult to speak. As a result, your loved one could have physical outbursts when hurt or uncomfortable. Your loved one could be in pain and attempting to communicate this to you through aggressive actions. To prevent combative behavior, monitor your loved one’s comfort levels throughout the day, ensuring he or she isn’t hungry, cold, hot, thirsty, or experiencing any pain.
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 Allen 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. Call us today at (972) 548-0392 to learn about our high-quality in-home dementia care services.