How to Manage Anger or Aggression in Someone With Alzheimer’s Disease
Excerpted from The Comfort of Home for Alzheimer’sTM
By Maria M. Meyer, Mary S. Mittelman, Cynthia Epstein, and Paula Derr, Contributing writers
What to do when someone with Alzheimer’s acts out
At some point in the course of the disease, people with Alzheimer’s may become physically aggressive, although this does not occur as often as popular wisdom says. They may sometimes throw things, hit, kick, bite, or pinch the caregiver or others they come into contact with.
Recognize that acting out is often a symptom of the disease
People with Alzheimer’s may not know why they are doing this, and they may not even realize that they are doing it. Nonetheless, these displays of behavior can be very frightening. Try to remember that these behaviors are probably an indication that the person with Alzheimer’s is very upset about something.
When it looks like he is getting upset, and may seem to be spoiling for a fight, perhaps using threatening language, you may feel frightened and tempted to fight back. Try to stay calm, use a reassuring tone, and distract the person.
Usually, your friend or relative will calm down in a few minutes if you do not bother him.
Take steps to avoid injury
Don’t try to restrain the person. This could cause serious injury to both of you.
Alzheimer’s home care counselors at Andelcare are available to talk with you and your family about care needs for your loved one, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. Andelcare is a home care agency providing Alzheimer’s In Home Care in Seattle WA and the surrounding communities.