Sunday, April 27, 2014

Aggression in Seniors With Dementia & Alzheimer's disease.

Seniors with dementia or Alzheimer's disease may experience periods of aggression.  Aggression may be either verbal (cussing, threatening) or physical (lashing out, combative).  As a caregiver it is important to react calmly to aggressive behavior.  Avoid being harmed by the senior by taking a step back and deescalate the situation by giving the senior physical space and adopting a soothing tone.

Aggressive behavior can stem from multiple conditions.  The senior with Alzheimer's disease may be combative due to pain they cannot otherwise express.  Similarly, aggression may stem from a physical need such as toileting or hunger.  Boredom and lack of social interaction may create aggressive tendencies.  In these situations activities and engagement may decrease aggression and agitation.  Aggression may also result from environmental stimuli such as noise or too many people.  In seniors with Alzheimer's disease overstimmulation can result in combative behaviors.  Once again, modifying the environment to remove stimuli can help reduce aggression in the senior and enhance their quality of life.

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