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Understanding the Triggers of Alzheimer’s Aggression

Anyone caring for a senior or loved one with Alzheimer’s is likely to encounter some form of aggression during the care process, most often a symptom of the later stages of the disease. Aggression can range from mild frustration and stubbornness to verbal outbursts and physical assaults, and can be difficult for a caregiver, especially a family member to manage. Not only is watching a loved one go through the stages of Alzheimer’s emotional, it can leave a caregiver feeling frustrated, helpless and even emotional.

As a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care in Annapolis, one of the best ways to manage bouts of aggression associated with Alzheimer’s is to understand possible triggers. Some of the most common triggers can include, but are not limited to:

  • Discomfort or Pain

    It sometimes becomes difficult for Alzheimer’s patients to verbalize their pain, so they’ll act out instead. If bouts of aggression come on suddenly, consider scheduling an exam to check for possible medical causes.

  • Medication Side Effects

    Some medications taken for Alzheimer’s can have unintended side effects, including making a patient thirsty or disrupting their sleep patterns, resulting in increased moodiness.

  • New Environments

    Unfamiliar surroundings or loud noise from outside traffic or a TV can sometimes irritate an Alzheimer’s patient. Aggression due to unfamiliar surroundings can also occur, which is why many families prefer Annapolis in-home care when their loved one’s care needs become complex. Such services allow seniors to receive the care and support needed in the comfort of their own home.

  • Confusion

    Asking too many questions or correcting mistakes your loved one makes, such as using the wrong name for someone, can sometimes cause increased irritation. S

How You Can Help

Researchers aren’t sure why Alzheimer’s patients become aggressive. In some cases, it may be a direct response to their surroundings or frustration over not recognizing people around them. Aggression, which shouldn’t be taken personally, can also come without warning, with some patients being perfectly calm one minute and agitated the next. As a caregiver, you can help by:

  • Not correcting every factual error
  • Using memory cues (note cards, Post-its) to provide subtle reminders
  • Talking about past memories (Alzheimer’s tends to affect short-term memory)
  • Limiting environmental distractions whenever possible (turning down the TV, limiting the introduction of too many unfamiliar people)

If your aging parent or loved one experiencing any of the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s, including aggression, and you are unsure if you are able to provide the care he or she needs, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Annapolis today. Our devoted Care Managers and highly trained Alzheimer’s caregivers are here to help 24/7. We offer flexible hourly care, as well as Annapolis live-in care to provide families with peace of mind knowing a caregiver is by their loved one’s side to ensure safety, prevent wandering and maximize comfort. Call 443-302-2771 to request more information or a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.