Verbal Aggression: Understanding What Triggers Elderly People With Dementia

November 26, 2018 at 8:21 pm ·

Verbal Aggression: Understanding What Triggers Elderly People With Dementia

Verbal aggression in people with dementia can happen anytime and anywhere. If you don’t know the person well, it can seem like they appear out of the blue. However, if you pay close attention, there are usually triggers or patterns to these outbursts.

Triggers for verbal outbursts can be social, psychological, or physical depending on the person and situation. If you’re caring for someone with dementia, you must learn to recognize these triggers in order to reduce the likelihood of outbursts.

Below are some of the most common causes of verbal aggression in people with dementia:

Misunderstandings

One of the most common causes of verbal aggression in people with dementia is the misunderstanding of conversations and situations.

If they’re hurt because they misheard something, this can lead to verbal outbursts. If they forgot where they placed something and think you took it and they’ll yell at you.

Sometimes, if you try to explain the situation, it can make it worse because they’ll think you’re attacking or belittling in them.

Feeling Threatened

When a person with dementia feels like their caretaker is helping them too much, they’ll perceive it as a threat to their privacy or independence.

Even if they truly need help, people with dementia often have a hard time accepting help because it makes them feel helpless. When this happens, they might yell at you to get you to leave them alone.

Loneliness and Boredom

Loneliness in seniors is common but for people with dementia, it can be extra difficult.

Long periods without social interaction can agitate their symptoms because they don’t have anyone to talk to and express how they feel. Then when someone finally shows up, they’ll take out all their frustrations by verbally attacking this person.

Shame

For some people, dementia can bring about feelings of shame, embarrassment, or guilt.

They might be embarrassed that they can’t remember people’s names or that they need help with simple things like going to the bathroom. If they don’t know how or don’t want to express these feelings, they might yell at you to try to create some distance between you and them. Distance is one of the ways people with dementia try to protect themselves.

Physical Discomfort

Let’s face it. Aging is uncomfortable and for people with dementia, this can be worse. Verbal attacks may be their way of asking for help.

They might be experiencing hallucinations from other drugs. They might be constipated. If they have other mental illnesses such as depression, it can make the symptoms of dementia even worse.

Pay Close Attention to Verbal Aggression

Verbal aggression is damaging to both the person expressing it and the person receiving it. If you are the person receiving it, know that there is help for you. The first step is to try to understand why they happen and what triggers them.

Once you are able to recognize these triggers, you’ll be able to anticipate outbursts better, reduce episodes, and see the person you’re caring for with more compassion.

Don’t forget, your mental health is just as important and sometimes what both parties need is space.  If you would like more professional advice on how to care for people with dementia, check out our blog for more resources today.

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Dementia Care: Knowing What You Should and Shouldn’t Do

November 19, 2018 at 8:17 pm ·

Dementia Care: Knowing What You Should and Shouldn’t Do

Approximately 10 million individuals are diagnosed with dementia each year. This syndrome typically impacts elderly individuals already facing challenges from aging.

For family members responsible for providing dementia care, knowing what to do, what to say, and how to react can be tough. Watching your loved one change almost by the day can leave you feeling confused and frustrated.

Often, these feelings impact how you care for your elderly loved one, even if you don’t want them to.

Wondering how you can make dealing with dementia as easy as possible for both you and your loved one? We’ve put together a simple guide of what to do and what to avoid when providing dementia care.

Do Keep Explanations, Tasks, and Expectations Simple

Dementia is a progressive condition with many different symptoms. Those symptoms will be moderate when your loved one is first diagnosed and gradually get worse as time goes on. Complicated explanations and tasks will become more difficult for them to understand over time.

When dealing with dementia, it’s important to keep explanations as simple as possible. If your loved one is confused about a task or wondering why things aren’t the way they remember, explain things gently and in basic terms.

Stick with the truth and use short sentences rather than giving them detailed explanations. The more information they have to process, the more frustrated they may become.

Do Be Patient When the Dementia Patient is Angry

Combative behavior is one of the most common symptoms dementia patients have, especially as the condition progresses.

If your loved one has an angry outburst, take a deep breath instead of reacting immediately. Once you’re calm, try to find out what caused the outburst in the first place.

Was it a conversation about something they don’t like? Are they uncomfortable or in pain?

Remember, most angry outbursts from individuals in dementia care happen when they’re scared. Look at what was happening before their reaction and work to keep those situations from happening in the future.

Don’t Get Upset

It’s easy to lose sight of who your loved one is when you’re working to cope with their different dementia behaviors. When you get frustrated, it can make their behaviors worse.

If you find yourself getting upset, take a step back. Remember, it’s dementia that’s causing your loved one to act out or forget where they are. It’s not a reflection of you, your care skills, or your love for them.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help with Dementia Care

If you’re like most people, you have a busy schedule. Providing care for your loved one can turn into a full-time job. If you find yourself struggling to give your loved one the attention they need, ask for help.

personal care home can give them more freedom and individual attention as the syndrome progresses.

A Dementia Care Facility May be the Best Option

When dealing with dementia, seeking help from a dedicated care facility is always a good option.

Our staff can help with your loved one’s dementia care when you’re busy with the other demands of daily life. Schedule a tour today and see how we can help keep your loved one happy and entertained.

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