When caring for a person with dementia, you must be able to be ready to cope with aggression and anger behavior they may not develop. However, not all patients living with dementia create this kind of behavior, as others have been found to remain calm and tolerant throughout their lives.
The combative stage of dementia is a normal part of the illness and can occur to any patient even if they are usually kind and non-violent. Many studies believe that aggressiveness behavior is caused by the damage that is happening in the brain of the patient. Since they may not be able to express themselves and communicate what they need clearly, patients with dementia may occasionally lash out when they are frustrated, angry, or in discomfort.
This aggressiveness can be scary and challenging to deal with as a caregiver. That is why it’s important to select a reliable in home care giver San Antonio. Sometimes, people with this disease may scream, curse, grab, bite, kick, or even haul things at you. And since you are an intuitive being, you may be prompt to fight back, which could only make things worse.
Thankfully, with proper strategies on hand, you can be able to deal with your patient’s change in behavior at any time.
In this article, we are going to share with your techniques you can use to deal with an aggressive dementia patient.
- Understand that it is normal behavior for dementia patients
Knowing that aggressiveness is a normal stage of the disease is the first step in dealing with the patient who shows these signs. You will be able to respond calmly anytime this behavior rears its head.
By understanding that it is common for the dementia patient to be aggressive, help you not take it personally when the patient starts throwing stuff at you or call you names.
- Find the triggers
While this aggressiveness sometimes comes out of nowhere, in most cases, some things can trigger the patient to be aggressive. Try to remember things that happened right before the aggressive outburst began. It could be pain, frustration, or fear.
If you can successfully identify the trigger, you can do the necessary and change the situation.
- Be gentle when dealing with the patient
When the dementia patient gets angry, don’t retaliate with an angry response. Instead, stay as calm as possible. This will only get worse if you also get upset by the situation.
This situation can be stressful and overwhelming and may require you to learn how to use breathing to calm yourself down.
- Most of the times it is caused by pain
People with dementia are not able to communicate clearly when they are bothered by something. So, if they are feeling pain or any discomfort, they resort to acting out.
One of the things you should do in this situation is to check if they need their painkillers in case of conditions such as gout or arthritis.
- Ensure the environment is calm
Your dementia patient may be acting out because of a noisy environment. So take notice of the situation in case the patient starts being aggressive and see if you can change anything. This could be turning off the television, turning down the music volume, or asking others to leave the room if they cause your patient some discomfort.
- Leave the room in case nothing works
You can’t rule you out as the cause of the problem, and in case nothing works, just leave the room for a while and see what happens. This way, you can also calm down ad regain your focus, while allowing the patient also to calm themselves down.
- Help them shift focus
If the trigger of the outburst is a previous activity, try to help the patient shift their focus to something else that they may enjoy.
- Do they have a favorite TV program or music?
This could also help them calm down. Music has been used for many centuries in therapies to affect the mood of patients. So, if the patient has a favorite song, try singing it to them.
This should also work in case of a TV program they like. It could be Tom and Jerry or Finding Dory.
- Call for support
If the patient can’t calm down and you feel they are becoming a risk to themselves as well yourself, you should ask from help from others.
Start by contacting family members or friends to help you out. This is advisable if the situation is not that extreme.
In case of an extreme situation, consider calling for emergency and inform the operator that you have a person with dementia who is getting out of control. Being clear on your message to the first responder will help know what kind of help your patient may need.
- Try medication
When all these techniques don’t work with your patient, it may be time to seek the help of a doctor.
The doctor can prescribe behavioral medications to help the patient calm down. Medication can help combat any aggressive behavior and enhance the quality of life for you and your patient.
Another form of help may be in the way of hiring a home care company. A right home care firm should be able to know how to deal with patients who have dementia.
The benefits of seeking the help of a home care profession include:
- Personalized care: The company provides a customized care plan that fits your patient’s needs. Whether it is for a few hours a day or full-time care, home care is more flexible to what is best for your dementia patient.
- Faster recovery: Instead of taking your patient to the health facilities away from home, hire a home care firm to come and take care of them in the comfort of their own home.
One-on-one attention: Home care lets the patient be the main focus of the professional caregiver. Because your patient is the center of attention, their needs will be met much faster, thus allowing them to feel better quickly.