Skip to content

How to Deal with a Love One Displaying Aggressive Behavior

How to Deal with a loved one with aggressive behavior

Does your loved one with Alzheimer’s display aggressive behavior? Are you finding yourself frustrated dealing with them? Did they used to be so nice and calm prior to their diagnosis?

This is a normal progression of the brain due to the damage that has been caused by the disease. People with Alzheimer’s are often not able to communicate their needs or wants and this can cause them to lash out. The aggressive outbursts can be scary and can range from yelling and screaming to cursing, hitting, kicking and even throwing things. 

So, what do you do when counting to ten just doesn’t work anymore? We’ll take a look at some coping strategies to help you deal with these aggressive behaviors.

Coping Strategies

→ Rule out pain as the source of the behavior. Any kind of pain can trigger aggressive behaviors in a person with Alzheimer’s. Because they can’t communicate what is wrong with them, it causes them to lash out and become angry.

→ Try to figure out what just happened to cause the behavior. Were they trying to do something and couldn’t accomplish it and this caused frustration? Is it starting to get dark and shadows are forming on the walls? They may think the shadows are people moving around in the house and this will cause fear; turn some lights on.

→ Be ready for reality. Remembering that aggressive behaviors are a part of the disease can help you respond in a more productive way. Also, knowing these outbursts can happen at any time will help ease the shock that comes along when they do happen; and remember don’t take it personally, they don’t understand.

→ Confirm their feelings. They could be acting aggressively due to loneliness, frustration, or sadness and just don’t know how to convey their feelings. Reassure them in a calming tone and let them know it’s okay to feel that way.

→ Calm the area around them. Is there loud music playing? Make sure the television is off. Are there other people in the room talking? All of these things can trigger aggressive behavior in a person with Alzheimer’s.

→ Speak calmly and reassuringly. Use a gentle tone when speaking to them. Take a deep breath and again, reassure them it’s okay to feel that way. They will feel YOUR frustration and this will only increase the behavior. Breathe deeply, speak slowly and keep your voice soft and positive.

→ Play their favorite music. Soft music has a calming effect and this can help ease their aggressiveness. If they have a favorite song, play it for them; hum a song, or sing a song they know and try to get them to sing along with you.

→ Leave the room. If nothing seems to work and your loved one is safe. Leave the room for a few minutes and take a breather. This will give both of you some space and when you return they may have forgotten they were angry.

→ Safety first. If nothing is working and you are fearful for yourself or for them, reach out to a friend or neighbor. If that isn’t a possibility, call 911 and explain to the dispatcher that your loved one has Alzheimer’s and is displaying aggressive behavior and you are unable to calm them yourself.

When the first responders arrive, PLEASE tell them again that the person has Alzheimer’s and this is the cause of the behavior. Do NOT let them take them to the police station, ask that they be taken to a hospital instead.

Dealing with someone with Alzheimer’s is not easy and when they display aggressive behavior, it makes it so much harder. Please reach out for help, you do NOT have to go this alone. We at Assisted Living Made Simple hold five (5) Alzheimer’s caregiver support groups a month; please find one that fits your schedule.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest

No comment yet, add your voice below!


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Assisted Living Facilities

Volusia County:

Ormond Beach, FL
Port Orange, FL

Flagler County:

Palm Coast, FL

Independent Living

Volusia County:

Ormond Beach, FL
Port Orange, FL

Flagler County:

Palm Coast, FL

Memory Care

Volusia County:

Ormond Beach, FL
Port Orange, FL

Flagler County:

Palm Coast, FL

Most Recent Post

A guiding light for seniors and family members

Download The FREE Complete Roadmap To Guide You Through The Stages Of Aging