It can be difficult, at best, to be a caregiver for someone with memory-related issues. The longer their condition goes on, the more complicated things can get. Frequently, for those with dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc., anger can become an issue. They sometimes lash out.
Though anger in dementia patients is not uncommon, and aggression and feelings of anger develop intensely through the progress of the disease, throughout their lives, others may remain easy-going and pleasant. Unfortunately, you probably won’t know what to expect until you get there.
Let’s take a look at why some people act out in anger when dementia takes over and what can be done when it happens.
Aggression and Its Causes
Anger is expressed and experienced by people with dementia for many reasons. Not the least of these reasons are related to the disease itself, while others are associated with dementia’s emotional impact. Let’s do a brief examination of some causes of aggression in those with dementia.
Overload on the Part of a Caregiver
It’s going to be easier for a person with dementia to reflect back feelings of anger, impatience, and frustration if it is already being exhibited by a caregiver who is overloaded. Try to be patient.
The ability to understand something that someone is doing or saying is reduced in those with dementia because communication is affected. They may not understand, rather than bossing them around, you’re trying to help them.
Food and Diet
For people with dementia, cognitive function, energy, and mood are affected by poor nutrition. In addition to a healthy diet, try to assure a calm dining space.
Progressive Brain Unwellness
Because the brain is responsible for not just a person’s thought process and memory, but their emotions as well, dementia affects a person’s behaviors and emotions. Depending on the area of the brain damage, this can be a determining factor.
Example: Unconstrained and impulsive behaviors can be the result of loss of judgment, personality, impulse control, and empathy function when the brain’s frontal sections are affected.
Hallucinations, Delusion, and Paranoia
Another result of the dementia disease process is the distortion of reality: i.e., hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. These symptoms will not be developed by everyone with dementia, however.
Aggressive behavior, anxiety, and fear may be caused by dementia patients’ inability to recognize friends or family members. Example: A woman with dementia may be afraid of the “strange man” in front of her and act out, but the man is actually her husband.
What Can You Do?
When your loved one acts out, as a result of dementia, try the following strategies:
- Consult your loved one’s physician
- Change caregivers
- Determine the cause of the outburst
- Opt for one-on-one interactions (rather than a group)
- Use a distraction
- Give them some time and space
- Don’t argue
Discovery Village At Westchase – Caring for Those with Dementia
At Discovery Village at Westchase, courtesy of our SHINE® Memory Care program, those with dementia and other memory-related issues receive the best care available. What’s more, thanks to the amenities and programs we offer, they will enjoy nutritious meals, comfortable and spacious living quarters, therapeutic but fun things to do, socialization with others, and much more. It’s perfect for your retirement age loved one experiencing a memory-related condition. Check out our SHINE® Memory Care program at Discovery Village At Westchase today.