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How to Handle Dementia Outbursts

Oct 7, 2015 by Anonymous

Agitation and aggression seem to go hand in hand for those who suffer with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.  How can we as family members and caregivers deal with these unfavorable behaviors? 


The first thing to do is to determine what causes these mood swings in our loved ones.  There can be many factors as well as overlapping ones.  Some seniors with this disease have diminished communication abilities.  They may be suffering the effects of a stroke or diabetes in conjunction with Alzheimer’s. This can create a very frustrating situation.  Constraints such as fatigue from physical problems can be present as well.  An uncomfortable environment can impact their behavior when the room is too noisy, too crowded, or at an extreme temperature that the senior cannot tolerate well.  Try to remember their capabilities on outings and in their living environments and don’t subject them to difficult situations often or as little as possible. 


Even though you have done your best to create a feeling of security, all may still not be well with your elderly parent.  How do you manage contrary behavior when it rears its ugly head?   Remembering some of these approaches may halt or diminish such episodes.  Stay calm and use a gentle tone of voice.  Most of us, at any age, tend to stop and listen to a soothing voice which can help to cease any disturbing reactions.  Don’t be condescending when speaking to the agitated senior.  This will only frustrate them further.  Don’t rush them in tasks that you can accomplish quicker.  The need to still function at any level is important to their self-esteem.  Don’t make demands but ask for favorable reactions.  The way we speak to others can determine their responses. 


Most of all we need to remember that it is the disease talking, rather than the individual.  When they were at their best, many people liked to be positive and be in happy situations. They can’t always control the behaviors they now exhibit.  By using some of these techniques, we may lessen the frequency and degree of these outbursts, making it better for all. 

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