Can You De-escalate Aggressive Behavior from Your Senior?

Caregiver Rockford MI: Can You De-escalate Aggressive Behavior from Your Senior?

Caregiver Rockford MI: Can You De-escalate Aggressive Behavior from Your Senior?

One of the problems that dementia can bring is a new set of aggressive behavior from your senior. Her brain chemistry is changing because of the dementia and that means that she doesn’t respond the way you might expect. De-escalating the behavior might be possible with some practice.

Check What You’re Expecting of Her

Often as a caregiver you’re expecting old behaviors from your senior, even though dementia is in full swing. This is a problem because your elderly family member is not going to be able to live up to those expectations. When you’re starting to see aggressive behavior, take a step back and double check what you’re expecting of her.

Keep Your Voice Calm and Reassuring

Your own approach and tone are going to have a lot to do with how this whole situation plays out. Keep your voice calm and reassure your aging family member that all is well. Your senior might also respond well to gentle touches, but be careful if she’s feeling extremely upset because touching her can be more triggering.

Look for Triggers

Aggressive behavior in dementia almost always has a trigger. The trick is determining what that trigger is. Pain can be a big trigger, as can other basic needs, like hunger or a need for the bathroom. Start trying to narrow down what could be the instigating factor behind the behavior you’re witnessing. Solving that issue often resolves the behavior.

Use Validation as a De-escalation Tool

So often aggressive behavior is a result of frustration. So much about your elderly family member’s life and world have changed because of dementia. Validating her feelings instead of telling her that she’s wrong can have a tremendously positive effect. Let her know you’re there for her.

Use Distraction, Too

If you’ve tried everything else and your senior isn’t hungry, tired, lonely, or in need of the bathroom, distraction might be an effective tool to use. Offering her another activity or something else to focus on can be what she needs to take her out of the moment that is causing her to be upset.

Dementia changes how your senior’s brain works, which means that reasoning with her is not necessarily a possibility. You may also find that you have to try a variety of techniques depending on the situation. Above all, don’t blame yourself for being a bad caregiver. You’re doing the best you can in a difficult situation.

If you or someone you know needs help with Caregiver in Rockford, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.

Excerpt: Aging adult with dementia might be aggressive far more often than they ever have. Can you bring the situation down to a calmer level?

About Dan Gauthier

Dan Gauthier has a long and successful business pedigree. He spent his college years working in the restaurant business and worked in various executive management positions at Universal Forest Products, Inc. over a span of 17 years, and Therm Technology / Family Safety Products for 12 years.

When the recession hit in 2008 Dan was “downsized” from UFP and spent a few years consulting for local companies Amway and Cascade Engineering. During this period Dan’s in-laws were experiencing catastrophic health problems and it required Dan’s wife Marion to focus full time on caregiving for her mother. Marion enlisted help from a local home care agency and it did not go well. This experience led to the creation of Gauthier Family Home Care, a home care agency that is uniquely holistic and family centric. Dan now works full time running GFHC.
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