It may seem like your loved one dealing with dementia has outbursts at the drop of a hat. To you, it may not be such a big deal since it is a very small inconvenience. However, it is highly likely that they’ve suddenly reached a breaking point from build-up frustrations from daily tasks. Anger in dementia patients can be difficult to deal with, and you may not know how to deal with such situations.
Why Is Anger in Dementia Patients Common?
Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning – reasoning, remembering, and thinking – to such an extent that it interferes with one’s daily activities. Their ability to function well in the world drastically declines. Even the tasks that we consider simple, like brushing teeth, become significantly more complex in their minds. To explain, let’s break down the major steps needed to take to complete this task:
- Finding the right toilet with their toothbrush
- Turning on the light
- Locating their toothbrush and toothpaste
- Removing the toothpaste cap
- Squeezing out the appropriate amount of toothpaste onto their toothbrush
- Brushing every tooth surface in their mouth
- Spitting out the toothpaste instead of swallowing
- Rinsing their mouth with water
A person with dementia may struggle a lot more with these smaller steps that we carry out so seamlessly every day. Over time, the frustration and stress from these little overwhelming tasks easily build-up, causing a very reasonable outburst or breakdown.
Ways to Reduce Anger in Dementia Patients
- Accept their limitations – Lower your expectations of your loved ones and avoid pushing them to complete tasks you know are too difficult for them.
- Reduce complex tasks and decisions – There are so many decisions we make in a day, and there are some that you can simplify for them. The key is not to take away their right to choose, but to give them options and help them with the process.
- Keep the environment calm and quiet – Sensory overload is real and can make it extremely difficult to think and function for someone with dementia.
- Rely on routine – This reduces the amount of decision-making and thinking they have to make on a daily basis, lessening the overwhelm they feel on a normal day.
- Speak simply – Using fewer words and a positive tone can make things easier to understand since dementia can affect one’s ability to process and retrieve information
- Offer them help
- Treat them with respect
Coping With Managing Anger in Dementia
Your needs as a caregiver are just as important as the person you’re caring for. We understand that it can get stressful and overwhelming at times, even if you’re taking care of them out of love. If negative emotions like feelings of resentment or frustration arise, make sure you take some time to fill your own cup by making more time for yourself or joining a local support group.
Why Choose The Park Oak Grove?
The Park Oak Grove boasts senior assisted living for individuals who would like to retain independence for as long as possible but could benefit from a level of assistance with daily living. We also offer residents endless opportunities to maintain a socially and physically active lifestyle according to their preferences.
If you have any inquiries about our range of services, don’t hesitate to contact us today.