How to Handle a Combative Loved One with Dementia

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Stopping all combative behaviors in older adults with dementia isn’t possible, but there are ways to alleviate the situations and reduce combativeness. Learning more about the issues and developing a proper care plan is where you should start. Here are some strategies that can help you manage a combative senior loved one with dementia. 


Check Comfort Levels

Monitor your loved one’s physical and mental health to determine if his or her current treatment plan is causing the behavioral problems. Your loved one may not be able to speak up, especially if the condition has negatively affected his or her communication skills. As a result, your loved one might use combative behavior as a form of self-expression. 

Screaming, hitting, spitting, or biting could be your loved one’s way of saying he or she is in pain or experiencing discomfort due to medicines, an exercise routine, or a diet plan. A primary care provider can examine your parent and determine if medications or the treatment plan need to be changed. 

Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional in-home care. Families can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care Monmouth to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.


Plan Activities Accordingly

If your parent is at his or her best during particular hours of the day, plan activities at these times. For instance, if your loved one isn’t a morning person, don’t plan anything when he or she wakes up. Wait until later in the day to do things like grooming, cooking, cleaning, and exercising. 

As the condition progresses, your loved one’s needs and moods could change. When these changes occur, create a new schedule. Refrain from scheduling major activities close to each other, even at times when your loved one is happiest. Taking on too much could be confusing and increase anxiety levels, resulting in a combative episode. 

The cognitive challenges that accompany dementia often leave aging adults unable to manage everyday tasks, which puts their safety and health at risk. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of senior home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.


Change Caregivers

Your loved one’s physical and verbal outbursts could be due to a dislike of a caregiver. The person might be too rough with your loved one or not attentive enough. Monitor your loved one’s comfort levels around the caregiver and determine if he or she is a good fit. 

Changing caregivers doesn’t mean the person did anything wrong. It could merely mean the caregiver isn’t the proper person to handle your loved one’s needs. Speak with the agency about a replacement and make sure to include your loved one in the process. Even seniors who have been diagnosed with dementia can still give valuable input when it comes to the type of care they receive, which could reduce combativeness going forward. 


Make Environmental Adjustments

Combative episodes are often caused by environmental factors that caregivers aren’t aware of. For instance, sitting in a particular area of the home could trigger bad memories and cause your parent to react aggressively. In this instance, you might need to switch your loved one’s bedroom or sitting area to another location within the home. 

Other environmental changes you can make include adding adequate lighting to the home, limiting background noises, and keeping the room temperature at comfortable levels. When having company over, ask the guests to respect your loved one’s privacy and avoid using his or her things, especially if he or she is territorial. 

Caring for a loved one with dementia 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 elderly home care provider. Families sometimes need respite care 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 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.

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