• Indigo Nursing Services

Dementia: Dealing with Aggressive Behavior

Updated: Mar 21, 2019

Use calming techniques to de-escalate aggressive dementia behavior

Some people with Alzheimer’s or dementia may enter a combative stage of dementia.

This is a normal part of the disease and can happen even if your older adult’s typical personality has been kind and non-violent throughout their lives. It’s caused by the damage that’s happening in their brain.

Because they’re not able to clearly communicate their needs, people with dementia may lash out when they’re afraid, frustrated, angry, or in pain or discomfort.

These aggressive outbursts can be scary and difficult for caregivers to handle. Older adults could scream, curse, bite, grab, hit, kick, push, or throw things.

Since you’re feeling attacked, your instincts might prompt you to argue and fight back – but that only makes the situation worse.

We share 10 tips for dealing with aggressive behavior in dementia while it’s happening. We also explain 4 ways to learn from the situation to find ways to prevent or reduce future outbursts.

1. Be prepared with realistic expectations

2. Try to identify the immediate cause or trigger

3. Rule out pain as the cause of the behavior

4. Use a gentle tone and reassuring touch

5. Validate their feelings

6. Calm the environment


7. Shift focus to a different activity

9. Remove yourself from the room

10. Make sure you and your older adult are safe and call for help in emergencies

If you would like more in depth information click here: https://dailycaring.com/14-ways-of-dealing-with-aggressive-behavior-in-dementia/

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