Caregiver Tips for Managing Challenging Alzheimer’s Behavior

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Combatting Alzheimer's Symptoms

During an aggressive outburst, a senior with Alzheimer’s can become verbally or even physically combative. El Dorado Alzheimer’s care experts look at some ways to prevent outbursts and how to handle them if they do occur.

Preventing Outbursts

Outbursts usually arise from frustration, so try to find ways to keep your loved one’s stress level at a minimum. Reducing stress starts with a calm, quiet environment. Other stress reduction techniques include:

  • Mild exercise, provided the senior’s doctor feels it is safe and appropriate
  • Simple activities that help him or her feel useful and needed, like washing vegetables for dinner or folding laundry
  • Social activity, preferably one-on-one
  • Playing his or her favorite music

During an Outburst

During an outburst, it’s important for caregivers to stay calm because seniors can pickup on your emotions. Getting frustrated, yelling, or berating your loved one will only escalate the situation. As the outburst is happening, you’ll also want to do the following:

  • Avoid any attempts to reason with your loved one. When agitated, a senior with Alzheimer’s has a distorted perception of reality. You are not going to change his or her perception by arguing or offering lengthy explanations. In fact, it could exacerbate the situation.
  • Analyze the situation to try to locate the cause of the outburst. If possible, attempt to remove the source of the frustration, divert the senior’s attention elsewhere, or take him or her to a calmer environment.

No two Alzheimer’s patients respond to situations in the same way. After the outburst is resolved, evaluate the calming technique used so you can respond more effectively the next time.

If your senior loved one has Alzheimer’s and you could use extra help managing his or her complex care needs, consider senior care in El Dorado Hills. Home Care Assistance offers flexible hourly schedules and 24/7 live-in care for seniors who require around-the-clock monitoring. In addition to promoting safety and security, our caregivers can run errands, grocery shop, pick up medications, provide transportation, and offer emotional support. Call (916) 358-3801 to learn more and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation with an experienced Care Manager.


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