Many people with Elderly man with Alzheimer's’s disease exhibit aggressive behaviors that may result from an overwhelming situation or occur unexpectedly, with no apparent reason. This can be a little frustrating to deal with, especially for family members with a close bond to the elderly patient.

If you notice that your elderly loved one is usually angry or aggressive, it is important to keep in mind that they are not doing this on purpose. Physical pain or discomfort, poor communication, and environmental factors are some of the things that can cause such behaviors.

Barrington senior home health care service providers share some of the things that may contribute to your loved one’s changes in behavior:

  • Tiredness or lack of sleep
  • Hunger or thirst
  • Side effects of certain medications, especially if your loved one is taking several medications for different health conditions
  • Physical pain – Those with Alzheimer’s disease or loss of cognitive function may also find it hard to identify or express what’s causing their discomfort, so they may show it through anger or aggression
  • Cluttered or overactive environment
  • Being surrounded by unfamiliar people or large crowds
  • Changes in normal routines
  • Being frustrated and unable to communicate
  • Feeling lost or confused

How to Respond

Elderly man comforted by his sonThe first step is to identify the cause or the things that may have triggered their anger or aggression. Make sure that you don’t upset or scold them even if you feel like that their anger is directed at you. Here are some of the other things that can help you calm an angry loved one with Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Be sympathetic and reassuring. If you feel that your loved one is being illogical, resist the temptation to argue or reason with them. The best thing you can do is to validate what they are feeling and speak using a soft tone. It is also a good let them know that you understand them and their concerns. Avoid using a loud voice, as this can only frustrate or make them angrier.
  • Use soft and soothing music. Calm music can help soothe the person with Alzheimer’s. You can create a playlist of the songs that your elderly loved one prefers and enjoys. You can play the list again when they are feeling upset or angry.
  • Take a break. If your loved one is in safe space or environment, you can take a moment for yourself and leave the room for a few minutes. You can also benefit from taking deep breaths and counting to 10 if you get upset or frustrated.
  • Invite your loved one for a walk. If it is safe to do so, you can ask your loved one to take a walk with you outside. Sometimes, the soothing sounds of nature and fresh air are enough to help them calm down.
  • Ensure your and your loved one’s safety. If you can’t handle your loved one’s aggression, you can call 911 for emergency situations. Also, don’t forget to tell the responders that the person has Alzheimer’s disease.

It is important to keep in mind that Alzheimer’s is a disease that causes the brain cells to die, which then compromises how a person’s brain functions. This can cause changes in the way your loved one acts or behave. It is better to be understanding and provide them with everything they need for a safe and comfortable life. You can get help from senior home health care aides to assist you in caring your loved one.