Practice the Solutions
Like with any problematic situation, learning about and understanding the causes is only the first step. To make a difference, you have to take action that is well thought out, consistent, and based on the situations and experiences of your loved one.
If your loved one is undergoing tremendous amounts of physical pain, it doesn’t matter how calm the environment is. No matter of pain relief will reduce the frustration from confusion related to lack of communication. For best results, target the problems directly.
Communication needs to be the major focus at the beginning. It should focus on finding new and creative ways to allow free expression from your loved one.
This process should be addressed during calm periods to translate more intense periods later. Consider options like picture boards if your loved one has trouble forming thoughts into words.
Don’t forget to be a good listener while realizing that many messages will not be verbalized.
Work to put yourself in their situation and see the world from their eyes. This might yield helpful information that you can use to reduce future anger.
Spending too much time focused on the risk of anger and aggression has the propensity to create more anger and aggression. This is similar to only telling a small child what not to do rather than telling her what to do.
Increasing pleasurable activities for your loved one and providing opportunities for them to relax will accomplish this goal. Remember, sitting in front of the TV is not relaxation.
It is human nature to meet aggression with equal parts of aggression. When it comes to your loved one with Alzheimer’s, your reactions might only escalate the situation.
Strive to manage your emotions, shift their anger in other directions, and allow them the freedom to express their anger without hurting others. Using physical responses or restraints should only be used to limit injury to your loved one or increase their safety.
There is no cure for the aggression that stems from Alzheimer’s. As a caregiver or a loved one, the best use of your limited resources will be to learn the sources and practice the solutions. You won’t eliminate anger, but you might be able to contain it with the best reactions.