How to Address Anger in Older Adults with Alzheimer’s

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As the caregiver for an aging loved one with Alzheimer’s, you demonstrate strength, devotion, and compassion. While many families are able to handle the physical changes that accompany the degenerative disease, watching a loved one undergo behavioral changes can be heart-wrenching. From having a short temper to being rude, angry, and insensitive, a loved one’s change in personality can make it difficult for family caregivers to provide care. If you’re having difficulty addressing your loved one’s behavioral changes, learning what the triggers are and how to avoid them can keep your sanity intact while enhancing the relationship you have with your loved one.


Realize Where the Anger Comes From

First, understand your loved one’s anger doesn’t stem from a lack of love. More often than not, outbursts and unusual behaviors are born of frustration and stress. Things you don’t notice, such as background noise in a restaurant or large crowd, can create an unbearable sensory overload for someone with Alzheimer’s. 

Your loved one may feel pressured to perform tasks that are difficult or be in physical pain he or she is unable to express. When your parent is calmer, talk openly together about how he or she was feeling right before the outburst. You may also want to keep a journal, tracking your parent’s behavior in certain situations to try pinpointing the triggers. 

Symptoms such as agitation, confusion, anger, and frustration are common in elderly people with Alzheimer’s. The days, weeks, and months following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be challenging for both seniors and their families. However, these challenges can be made less stressful with the help of caregivers trained in professional Alzheimer’s care. Miami Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.


Minimize the Outbursts

As you learn what the triggers are, you can take steps to prevent them from happening. If your parent cannot handle crowds, running errands to the grocery store or pharmacy without him or her may be a better solution. On the other hand, if your loved one frequently gets frustrated with the inability to perform daily tasks, consider therapy.

Professional caregivers can also be a great solution, as they’re trained in how to assist seniors with Alzheimer’s while still promoting their independence. As you take steps to minimize the triggers, you’ll be able to ensure your loved one is calmer and more comfortable.

The cognitive challenges that accompany Alzheimer’s often leave aging adults unable to manage everyday tasks, which puts their safety and health at risk. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Assisting Hands Home Care is a leading elderly home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.


Learn How to Respond to the Anger

It will take time to identify the triggers, and you may not be able to completely eliminate sudden outbursts. However, you can learn how to respond when they happen. Stay calm, maintain your normal tone of voice, and avoid getting into a power struggle. Don’t pressure your loved one for answers and conversation if your parent isn’t ready, and give him or her time to settle down.

Keep in mind that how you handle the behavioral changes is critical. You can talk with doctors and therapists to find better ways to address your loved one’s challenges. You can also join a support group for new ideas and a fresh outlook. You may not be able to reverse the personality changes, but it’s possible to learn how to minimize problems and address the sources of your loved one’s anger and frustration. 

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is a challenging task for anyone. The responsibilities can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Miami Beach in-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help. Call us at (305) 574-9137 to create a customized in-home care plan.