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Dealing With Your Loved One's Alzheimer's-Induced Behaviors

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Individuals who have loved ones who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease face a number of struggles. One of these struggles is behavioral changes. A once reserved and patient individual can rapidly transform into someone who experiences frequent angry outbursts. Although your loved one is displaying these behaviors, how you respond is very important. Educating yourself on ways to deal with these behaviors can help minimize stress and make your interaction with your loved one more enjoyable.

Anger And Rage

If your loved one is displaying intense anger or rage towards you, the worst thing you can do is convince yourself that these emotions are actually being targeted at you. These emotions and feelings are uncontrollable on the part of your loved one. Don't take it personal. Look beyond the negative feedback and focus more on past, enjoyable moments you shared with your loved one. 

You also want to remain calm. If you express anger over their outburst, you could only cause the situation to get worse. During an outburst, always take a moment to ensure there wasn't a trigger that may have upset your loved one. A trigger could be something as simple as denial of their favorite meal or something more significant like physical discomfort. If there was a trigger, you might be able to minimize the outburst by addressing this concern first.

Inappropriate Behaviors

Alzheimer's can also lead to inappropriate behaviors. For example, some individuals may openly discuss intimate topics like sexual intercourse. The best thing you can do when faced with this type of inappropriate behavior is to not feed into it. Giving the situation attention may only reinforce the behavior.

Although the disease is the underlying reason for this behavior, similar to an angry outburst, looking for a potential trigger may help with managing the situation. For example, does your loved one only seem to engage in this type of behavior when you're assisting them with getting dressed? Given this scenario, maybe you could change the situation by stepping outside the room and only entering to help if your loved one asks you to. Since the behavior is uncontrollable, removing yourself from the situation might also remove the trigger.

If you're the primary care provider for your loved one, consider adding a home health professional into the care rotation. Home health professionals like those from All Stat Home Health are equipped with the necessary skills to handle Alzheimer's related behaviors. In addition to caring for your loved one, this assistance will give you an opportunity to recoup and refresh.