Caring for an aging parent with dementia in your home takes patience, strength, and the assistance of a home health care provider. Your provider can give you several tips on how to meet your parent's basic needs and be there for you when life becomes overwhelming. However, what do you do when your parent exhibits aggression, one of the scariest symptoms of dementia?
Here are a few tips to help you cope with your parent's dementia-related violent behavior.
Look for the Causes of Aggression
When your parent becomes agitated, starts yelling, or even becomes violent, try to determine what triggered this negative reaction. In some cases, it could be something as simple as a loud noise, a lack of sleep, or hunger. Here are a few more reasons why your parent may be exhibiting dementia-related aggression:
- Anxiety or depression
- A feeling of loneliness or hopelessness
If your parent follows a strict routine, any interruption to that routine could make them angry and violent. For example, if your parent always eats breakfast at a certain time and it was delayed because of a doctor's appointment, this could be enough for them to become angry.
Once you understand the cause of your parent's agitation, you can work to resolve the problem
Provide a Distraction
When your parent becomes agitated or aggressive, the cause might not be clear or strategies you've utilized in the past might not be effective. Giving your parent something else to focus on rather than the cause of their aggression can sometimes help calm them down. For instance, if your parent has a favorite song or movie, put it on and allow them some space to calm down.
Finally, it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of your parent's dementia-related aggression and even more difficult to cope with their anger. Talk to your parent's physician and your home healthcare provider when you are feeling overwhelmed. Your parent's medical team is a great source of information and support.
Your home healthcare provider can provide you with some invaluable information about dementia and aggression and a few more tips to help you cope with the realities of dementia. For instance, your provider can help you create a new routine with your parent's unique needs and challenges in mind.
From understanding the cause of your parent's agitation to seeking help for caring professionals, there are several things you can do to deal with your parent's dementia-related aggression.