Alzheimer’s aggression is something you may have to deal with quite a bit as your senior’s caregiver. The aggression is something you might not always be able to predict, so you need to be ready to try to handle whatever is going wrong for your senior at that moment.
Remember to Keep Your Cool
It’s really difficult when someone is being aggressive and angry with you to remain calm, but in this situation, it’s exactly what you need to do. If you become upset, your senior will pick up on that emotion and it will compound what she’s feeling. She’s frustrated and upset by something, and you’re going to have to do a little troubleshooting to figure out what is going on.
Avoid Trying to Reason Your Way through This
You might also catch yourself wanting to use logic and reason to solve this dilemma. The problem is that logic and reason are not at play right now. Your senior is responding to a stimulus and that is what needs to be resolved. You’re not going to be able to talk her out of feeling aggressive or angry and you’re not going to be able to get her to spell out what’s going on, either. You’re going to have to develop a system.
Go through a Basic Needs Checklist
Your first step is to focus on your senior’s basic needs. Because communication is often iffy by the middle and later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, your elderly family member is not able to communicate her needs or often to meet them completely on her own. Some of the basic needs to look at could include bathroom visits, food, and water. Once you have run through the main list of typical needs, move on to wants. There may be something specific she wants to do or have that she can’t find.
Adjust or Correct Whatever You Can
After you’ve exhausted basic needs and wants, you might have to expand your attempts to solve whatever is happening. There might be too much light or the television might be too loud. There might be people talking in another room and your senior finds that painful. There can be any number of things going on in her environment that are providing stimuli that are irritating for her, which complicates the situation greatly. Sometimes having a chance to sit calmly in a calmer space can help her to recover once you’ve tried everything else.
The most important thing that you can do is to get some help in dealing with these situations. Elderly care providers have experience handling these kinds of behaviors and they can help you to spot clues you might have been missing. This isn’t about you having done anything wrong at all. Your senior’s health is causing changes in how her brain works and that can be frustrating for her.