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3 Major Reasons that Arguing with a Loved One Who Has Dementia Won't Work

Senior Care in Spring Branch TX

Senior Care in Spring Branch TXDementia is difficult for everyone in the family to deal with because your elderly loved one may often bring up situations that are complicated and that you simply can't resolve for him the way he wants. Sometimes this can mean having to tell him unpleasant truths, which can lead to arguing back and forth about the actual truth of the situation. Arguing often makes the situation worse, though, and here's why.

His Reality and Your Reality Aren't the Same

When a loved one has Alzheimer's or dementia, his reality can be very different from your own. You're right there in the day to day caregiving, while he's somewhere in the past. Trying to convince him that your version of reality is the correct one won't work for him and may in fact make him argue harder with you. This is even more frustrating when your loved one's version of reality is different from one day to the next because you're not sure where his mind is at any given moment.

Arguing Amps up the Agitation for Everybody

If you do argue with your loved one, whether it's about your versions of reality or other topics, he's likely to become more agitated and upset as the argument goes on. The problem is that you're just as likely to be agitated and upset, too. Now no one is calm and relaxed and neither of you are backing down. The situation is far worse than if you had tried avoiding the argument.

You Can Trigger other Behaviors

So your loved one's version of the situation is different from yours, you argue, and he becomes agitated. What then? Often the behaviors can become even worse. Say your loved one was asking to speak to a relative, and now he feels that someone is hiding his relative from him and he becomes determined to leave the house to find this person. Without the agitation, your loved one may not have had a wandering episode that day, and it's likely to be difficult to distract him once the situation gets that far.

Knowing how to respond to a loved one with dementia is difficult for most caregivers. Try working out solutions in advance with his senior care providers and medical team that can help you to avoid arguments and escalations.


If you have a loved one who could benefit from senior care in Spring Branch TX, contact the caregivers at SYNERGY HomeCare. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care service. Call (281) 407-1200 for more information. 

Chad Jolley

As the owner of SYNERGY HomeCare of Houston and as a son trying disparately to find help for his parents, Mr. Jolley has worked within the senior healthcare field for over a decade. Beginning his work overseeing the care of his father who became critically ill following a stroke in 2004, he has continued to develop his expertise by aiding seniors, adult disabled and veterans in their search for truly compassionate and dependable care through SYNERGY HomeCare. Mr. Jolley received his designation as a Certified Senior Adviser in 2007 and continues to use his years of knowledge and experience to help other families find the care and peace of mind they need.

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