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Helpful Tips to Manage Dementia Outbursts

It is common for seniors with mid-to-late stage dementia to present challenging behaviors including aggressive outbursts. To the dementia caregiver, it may appear these outbursts occur for no reason, when, in fact, the aggression is usually triggered by the senior’s confusion, frustration, and fear. The following are some helpful tips for managing dementia-related outbursts.

Eliminate Causes of Stress
An outburst may be triggered by unfamiliar surroundings, frustration over the inability to communicate, or even physical discomfort. If you pay close attention to what is happening at the time of the outburst, you will likely find some common factors and can take steps in the future to eliminate these potential stressors.

Avoid Forcing Any Activity
If a senior with dementia refuses to engage in a particular activity, don’t force the issue. If possible, delay the activity and suggest it again later. Try to give the senior some control over basic activities whenever possible. For example, “Would you like to get dressed now or after breakfast?”

Maintain a Consistent Routine
Seniors with dementia are easily overwhelmed, and the frustration can lead to outbursts. Both hourly and live-in caregivers in Denver should provide the senior with a peaceful environment and a stable routine. You can reduce confusion by providing frequent reminders of time, date, and daily activities. You can also reduce frustration by limiting choices and not inundating your senior loved one with extensive questions.

Stay Calm
Remember, your loved one is not trying to be difficult. The behavior is a symptom, and it’s important to stay calm during the outburst. A negative reaction can potentially make the situation worse. Don’t argue or try to reason with your loved one. Instead, acknowledge their feelings and do your best to focus their attention elsewhere. 

If you need help managing your loved one’s care needs, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are the trusted provider of dementia and Alzheimer’s care in Denver and can maximize your loved one’s safety and comfort while providing you with time for yourself. To learn more about our specialized care services for seniors with memory impairment, call 720-443-3371 and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation with a friendly Care Manager.