Many aging adults with Alzheimer's disease can begin to exhibit aggressive behavior. It may not be part of your elderly family member's true personality, but it can be a part of the disease's progression.
Alzheimer's Is More than Just Memory Problems
Alzheimer's disease is a physical disease that includes memory issues and psychiatric components. Your aging adult with Alzheimer's disease may develop hallucinations or delusions, such as being convinced that family members are stealing their belongings. They may not be able to describe what is happening in terms of physical issues, which can make the entire situation worse.
Memory Problems Can Be a Big Factor, Though
This doesn't downplay the memory problems, however. Forgetting words, what something is, or who people are is incredibly upsetting. Your senior may find that the memory issues become more aggravating as they become more frequent and that can lead to lashing out.
Side Effects Can Create Aggression
Communication can become difficult for your aging adult, which means that side effects or even simple regular problems like a headache are impossible to share with you. You can help her to manage side effects by working closely with her doctor to learn to recognize what those cues might be. For other issues, you might need to start developing a system with your elderly family member that helps you to recognize those problems.
General Frustration and Distress Also Factor In
Needing help is frustrating. Dealing with all of the issues that your senior can't explain or describe is frustrating. All of this can build up and lead to general frustration and even a hopeless, distressed feeling. When your aging family member is feeling too much frustration, she's more likely to respond in unpredictable and possibly aggressive ways.
Try to Learn Your Senior's Triggers
If at all possible, you need to learn your senior's triggers. You may not be able to avoid all of them all the time, but having an idea what might inspire aggressive behavior from your elderly family member can help. Your elderly family member might become aggressive because she's hungry, tired, or experiencing emotions she can't deal with on her own. Keep a journal to help you track aggressive episodes and what happened beforehand.
Work with your elderly family member's doctor to try to solve your senior's aggression issues. You might also want to consider hiring experienced senior care providers who can help you spot triggers and give you a break from the situation.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering senior care in Denver, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today. Call us at (303) 756-9322.