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5 Tips for Reducing Anger for Seniors with Dementia

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Dementia affects every senior differently. Some residents in memory care in Clinton Township remain pleasant despite being in the disease’s middle stage. In contrast, others may show extreme mood shifts even during the early stages of dementia.

There’s no telling what behavioral symptoms your patient or loved one will show. So, it is important to understand and learn everything you can about dementia’s symptoms. This way, you know what to expect and how to handle challenging behaviors.

One example of this is the anger and aggression that most dementia patients may experience regularly. 

A person with dementia may seemingly get angry for no apparent reason, causing them to lash out, raise their voice, and become physically abusive (e.g., kicking, throwing things). 

But more often than not, these behaviors arise from a particular cause, according to health experts. Some of the reasons a senior with dementia might become angry include:

  • Physical discomfort or experiencing pain.
  • Triggered by sudden loud noises, clutter, a large crowd of strangers, or an unfamiliar environment.
  • Poor nutrition, hungry, and feeling thirsty.
  • Poor communication or being misunderstood.
  • Loss of recognition.
  • Paranoia, delusion, and hallucinations due to dementia.
  • Progressive brain injury causing them to feel angry.

How to Reduce Aggression and Anger in Seniors with Dementia

When a senior loved one or patient with dementia shows aggression, it is normal to feel frustrated, hurt, and angry. However, you need to remember that they do not act this way on purpose, nor do they intentionally direct it at you. 

Keep in mind that it’s not them; it’s always the dementia talking during these challenging situations. The best thing to do is find ways to handle it healthily and use coping strategies to soothe such behaviors.

Further, you can look for effective strategies to prevent or reduce anger in seniors with dementia. Take a look at these five helpful examples and see if it works for your loved one or patient.

1. Know Their Triggers

Many seniors show aggressiveness once triggered. Triggers differ depending on each senior, but more often, it’s because of a stressful situation.

The best way to prevent another rage episode is to identify your loved one’s trigger. What happened right before your loved one or patient showed aggression? Determine the immediate cause so you can prevent it from happening again.

Moreover, knowing the cause allows you to be ready with coping strategies to calm your loved one if it happens again. This reduces the duration and intensity of their outburst as you work your way towards preventing it altogether.

2. Maintain a Calm and Safe Environment

Nobody likes a noisy and bustling surrounding, especially when you are trying to relax, right? The same thing applies to seniors with dementia, except that they are more vulnerable to these kinds of stressful situations.

The disease makes it hard for seniors to think and concentrate. They need extra time and focus on processing everything in their surroundings. That’s why adding a noisy and crowded environment in the mix will definitely frustrate them more. 

Create a soothing environment to help your loved one have a calm demeanor and relaxed mind. Some of the things to consider include:

  • The noise level and lighting.
  • The state of the surrounding. Is it messy? Is there a lot of clutter?
  • The number of people. Are the people attending close to your loved one or strangers?
  • Effects of mirrors, glares, and reflection

3. Communicate Effectively

A brain with dementia functions slower than a normal one. It needs ample time to process everything or build a coherent thought. That’s why seniors with dementia need more time to think and decide or before they talk or take action. 

As a result, they often get frustrated when somebody rushes them with an activity or makes them choose between complex choices. 

Avoid this by communicating with them effectively through simple and fewer words. Give them fewer things to think about and remember. Rather, make everything easier by narrowing down broad choices or breaking activities into small steps.

4. Build Routines

Most caregivers in memory care in Clinton Township rely on routines to help seniors with dementia face every day with a sense of security and peace.

Further, following a daily routine brings them comfort because they don’t need to think anymore; they just need to let their body and instinct run the show. Plus, the predictability of daily activities creates order, thus allowing no room for stress.

Without stress and unpredictability, there’s minimal chance of triggering your loved one’s behavioral symptoms like anger and aggression.

Here are some tips on how you can establish routines to make their every day go more smoothly.

  • Follow the routines that they’ve followed for most of their life.
  • Be flexible because not every routine you introduce will be embraced wholeheartedly. Some activities may be met with irritation and frustration, and it’s okay. You can change or make adjustments if that happens.
  • Stick to simple routine activities that promote independence, like brushing their teeth or folding laundry.
  • Include healthy habits and relaxing activities as part of their routine.

5. Know Their Limits

Older adults with brain disorders like dementia have limited abilities and knowledge. They have damaged brain cells that progress each day, preventing them from doing things a normal adult can.

Pushing them beyond their limits won’t do anything but stress them out even more. Thus, causing them to lash out and get angry. The same goes for overexerting them physically, mentally, and socially. Go easy on your senior patient or loved one by taking things slow.

Fatigue and exhaustion will only trigger them to snap at you or go into an angry outburst. Even a person without dementia will break under pressure and overexertion.

It’s okay to let them engage in several activities but make sure that they’re comfortable doing it and within their capabilities. Also, make sure that seniors will get plenty of rest between their activities inside the best memory care in Clinton Township.

Written by The Parkdale

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