Anger & Agression

Aggressive behaviors may be verbal or physical. They can occur suddenly, with no apparent reason, or result from a frustrating situation. While aggression can be hard to cope with, understanding that the person with Alzheimer’s or dementia is not acting this way on purpose can help.

Causes

Aggression can be caused by many factors including physical discomfort, environmental factors and poor communication. If the person with Alzheimer’s is aggressive, consider what might be contributing to the change in behavior.

The main cause of behavioral symptoms associated with dementia is the progressive deterioration of brain cells, but other factors — such as pain — also can cause symptoms or make symptoms worse.

Physical discomfort

• Is the person able to let you know that he or she is experiencing physical pain? It is not uncommon for persons with Alzheimer’s or other dementias to have urinary tract or other infections. Due to their loss of cognitive function, they are unable to articulate or identify the cause of physical discomfort and, therefore, may express it through physical aggression.

• Is the person tired because of inadequate rest or sleep?

• Are medications causing side effects? Side effects are especially likely to occur when individuals are taking multiple medications for several health conditions?

Treating Behavioral Symptoms

Anyone experiencing behavioral symptoms should receive a thorough medical checkup, especially when symptoms appear suddenly. Treatment depends on a careful diagnosis, determining possible causes and the types of behavior the person is experiencing.

Environmental factors

Is the person overstimulated by loud noises, an overactive environment or physical clutter? Large crowds or being surrounded by unfamiliar people — even within one’s own home — can be over-stimulating for a person with dementia.

• Does the person feel lost?

• Most people function better during a certain time of day; typically mornings are best. Consider the time of day when making appointments or scheduling activities. Choose a time when you know the person is most alert and best able to process new information or surroundings.

From: alz.org

New & Noteworthy
The Irmo News: Dr. Carlos W. Gibbons has been awarded the 2016 Poet of the Year Award by the PoetryFest Foundation. Gibbons has a poem in the 2016 PoetryFest Publication, “On the Wings of Angels,” and has been cited as one of PoetryFest’s brightest poetry stars. Gibbons is a native
Leeza Gibbons knows firsthand of the devastation that Alzheimer’s disease can cause a family. After the loss of her grandmother and the diagnosis of her mother, Leeza and her family created the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation to meet the growing needs of those impacted by memory disorders. Interviewed by Winn
Alzheimer’s disease directly affects parts of the brain responsible for communication. Patients find it harder to both understand others and explain themselves. Patients also begin to forget the names of once familiar objects such as watches or pens. Early in the disease, people with Alzheimer’s are often able to hide
2017 © The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation