As a caregiver for an Alzheimer’s patient, be it your own loved one or a patient you tend to, it is hard being positive all the time. The worrisome habits of patients like wandering, forgetfulness, and hallucinations cause much exhaustion to those helping around. One of the most difficult phases of tackling an Alzheimer patient is when they are in an aggressive mood. It is very stressful to calm them down and make them feel comfortable. Take a look at these methods you can use if an Alzheimer’s patient shows aggression:
- Try to understand the cause of their mood swing
It may be that the person is trying to communicate something to you, but in his pain, he is getting aggressive. Don’t take that mood personally. A patient should always be dealt with calmness. Remember that more than your words, your face is communicating with the patient. If it is a loved one, they might be getting offended if you frown or speak loudly or harshly. Try and ask them politely what they want, and with some consistency at this, they will tell. If anything is triggering that discomfort, they might want you to make it stop. Maintain peaceful eye contact, smile at them and give them a reassuring touch to make them feel relaxed.
- Ask yourself if the patient’s needs are being met
Normally, if you spend time with an Alzheimer’s patient, you come to understand their moods and behavior. Ask yourself what happened exactly before the patient went into a bout of anger. It can be possible that some of the patient’s needs aren’t being met and they are uncomfortable due to that. Try to work around the problem rather than going into a blame game. Will changing the environment make the person feel better? Try to present them with something to eat, or make them watch TV. Try a bunch of new things that the patient might like, to get out of that situation.
- Manage stress in a patient
There are many stress-reducing practices that can help in handling stress levels of an Alzheimer’s patient. Exercise is one of them. It shouldn’t be very hard, just a regular walk, or a comfortable seating exercise will do. It will help in contributing to the patient’s mental health as well. Try to involve the patient in productive activities throughout the day. For example, if the person liked gardening before, make them help around by handing them the water can, or make them take a stroll around a garden. You may not know how this will help their moods. Before you do all of that, make sure you calm your own self down, and free your mind of stress – so you can handle the person better.
- Keep a bunch of approaches handy if the patient turns violent
It is advisable as a caretaker that you consult with the doctors about the patient’s condition and do as they say. For extreme cases when the patient turns violent, you should stay prepared in advance. Keep the house cleared of items that can prove harmful if a violent patient gets hold of them. In case you are in a situation where the patient is holding a damaging item, stay out of range, or leave the room. Make a list of contacts that can help you in case of an emergency.
- Stay updated about your information on the disease and it’s growing symptoms
As a caregiver, you shouldn’t just keep waiting for the next doctor’s appointment. Keep track of new practices happening to counter behavioral changes in the patient. Use trusted sites like braintest, mayoclinic or webMD for information regarding common symptoms in the patient. Spending time with the patient will release hormones of calmness in them, making them feel relaxed and loved. You can get a pet, since they are proven to uplift any depressed person’s mood.
Being a caregiver you should always know how important your role is in the patient’s life, and your actions can directly affect the patient in a positive or negative way. There is no big blessing to your loved one than your genuine care. Sit with them and remember the good old days with them, the days that they can remember. Take this responsibility very seriously and keep your head calm in all situations.
ABOUT Audrey Throne
Audrey Throne is a mother and a professional blogger by choice. She has completed her masters in English literature from the University of Birmingham. As a blogger, she wrote quite a few posts on health, technology as well as management.
Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.