How to Respond to Contentious Behaviour in a Senior with Alzheimer’s

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Tips to Cater Contentious Behaviour in Senior Adults with Alzheimer's in Newcastle, NSW

One of the most challenging things family carers face is a senior family member with Alzheimer’s who has suddenly become combative. In the middle stages of Alzheimer’s, seniors may start fighting over just about everything, refusing to do basic things such as eating or randomly lashing out with awful accusations, and they may even become physically aggressive, which can be mentally, physically, and emotionally draining for family carers. Knowing the right way to handle these situations can help you get better outcomes.

Stay Calm and Avoid Arguing

It’s important to avoid getting mad and combative yourself, as this just escalates the situation. You need to try to take deep breaths and remind yourself it’s the Alzheimer’s talking, not your loved one. Try to maintain a pleasant expression and calm tone of voice. If you feel like you cannot stay calm, make sure your parent  isn’t in immediate danger and then step away from the situation to recover.

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 carers can turn to Newcastle 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.

Use Words and Gestures to Explain Things

A lot of times, seniors with Alzheimer’s are reacting with aggression because they’re confused. Try to talk slowly with simple words and short sentences. Take the time to explain things instead of just grabbing your parent to help him or her change clothes or stand up from a chair. Sometimes, words aren’t registered easily, so use gestures, such as pointing or miming the act of eating, to more clearly explain the situation.

The cognitive challenges that accompany Alzheimer’s often leave ageing 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 home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Provide Plenty of Options

Some seniors with Alzheimer’s get combative because they don’t enjoy feeling like they’re being controlled. To keep seniors from feeling like they’re not in charge of their own lives, it’s important to phrase things as questions instead of demands. Something as simple as asking to pick between two shirts instead of telling your loved one he or she needs to put on a clean shirt may prevent resistance and arguing.

Create a Calm and Soothing Environment

Seniors with Alzheimer’s tend to be more aggressive if they’re in busy areas where they feel distracted and overstimulated. Sometimes, these behaviors are easier to manage when seniors are in a familiar environment that’s quiet and peaceful. If you know you’re going to have to talk to your loved one or guide him or her through a task, turn off the television or radio beforehand.

Identify Triggers

One of the best ways to manage combative episodes is to stop the aggression before it even starts. Try to think carefully about the circumstances each time your parent gets upset. Identify factors such as hunger, a darkening sky, pain, or certain noises that may be triggering an episode. Take steps to address the problem before your loved one can begin to get mad, and see if the aggression and number of outbursts lowers.

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 care workers trained in professional Alzheimer’s care. Newcastle Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. To learn about our high-quality in-home Alzheimer’s care services, give us a call at (02) 4089 3000 today.

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