Difficult Home Care: Dealing with Aggression in Seniors with Alzheimer's Disease

Home Health Care in Rochester, NY

Home-Health-Care-in-Rochester-NYReceiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease for one of your aging loved ones can be the perfect impetus for you to consider hiring a home care provider to give your parents extra care and assistance as they progress through their aging years and the disease. This in home health care services provider can be an incredible resource for helping you to feel more secure in your care plans for your parents, more confident in their ongoing health and well-being, and less guilty about your need to step back and not perform certain tasks, or take time out for yourself so that you can maintain your own mental and emotional stability.

One area in which having a home care provider can be exceptionally helpful is if your parents show signs of aggression. More than half of seniors who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease will show some signs of aggressive behavior during the course of their disease. These behaviors may include:

• Biting

• Kicking

• Thrashing

• Smacking

• Slapping

• Spitting

• Scratching

• Making strange, intimidating sounds

• Throwing things

• Screaming

• Using profane language

Use these strategies, and share them with your parents’ in home health care services provider, to help cope with aggressive behaviors in elderly loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease:

• Understand the cause. Many people incorrectly perceive Alzheimer’s disease as a condition that only impacts a person’s memory. This is definitely not the case. The disease impacts the entire cognitive structure, creating a wide range of symptoms. One of these is anxiety. Seniors who are confused, disoriented, and feel pressured often become anxious. They may respond to this anxiety in much the same way that other adults would to severe, acute fear: by lashing out. Understanding this as the root of aggressive behaviors can help you to change your perception of the behaviors and find constructive ways to manage them.

• Reduce confusion. Put effort into establishing and maintaining an environment that is as non-confusing and intimidating as possible. This may mean having people wear name tags, putting signs on doors to mark which room is which, or labeling household items so your parent feels more in control.

• Exude calm. If you look anxious or upset, your parent’s anxiety is only going to increase. Do your best to stay calm and to maintain an expression of support, love, and nurturing. Even when you are feeling upset and angry, do not let it show.

• Give them an outlet. Let your parents know that it is acceptable and healthy for them to not only experience a range of emotions, including those that are perceived as “negative” such as anger, sadness, or frustration, and that you are fine with them feeling these things. Once you have acknowledged them, recommend an outlet for these emotions, such as doing an art project, getting up and dancing, or taking a walk rather than engaging in aggressive behaviors that can be harmful.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home health care in Rochester, NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134