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Understanding Alzheimer’s: The Combative Stage

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Agitation and aggression are common in seniors as Alzheimer’s progresses. The combative behavior could be due to the symptoms of the disease worsening, or it may be brought on by poor care. As a family caregiver for an aging loved one with Alzheimer’s, you’ll need to learn more about the combative stage of the disease and how to manage it.

Understand the Cause

Combative behavior can be physical and verbal, and it can occur without reason. The aggression typically begins in the middle stages of the disease and goes throughout the final stage, depending on several factors, such as provision of care. The occurrences are typically higher when seniors receive bad news from medical providers or family and friends. The behavioral challenges may be difficult to manage, but you must remember your loved one isn’t acting out on purpose. As the disease progresses, it prevents him or her from thinking logically and making the right decisions.

The cognitive challenges that accompany Alzheimer’s 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 Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Manage Combative Behavior

Responding with negative words or actions could cause your loved one’s behavior to worsen. Instead, you should speak calmly and try to distract your parent with a purposeful activity or one of his or her favorite hobbies. Try to find what’s causing the combative attitude and handle it accordingly. Offer reassurance to your loved one and let him or her know you’re there to help. Tell your loved one you understand his or her fear and anger but by working together, you can solve the problem and boost his or her quality of life. Give your loved one the ability to respond, and allow him or her to maintain some sense of control. While talking, gently rub your loved one’s hand or back to let him or her know everything will be fine.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family carers can turn to Clearwater Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Take Precautions

While violent behavior can occur during the combative stage of Alzheimer’s, physical danger isn’t acceptable. You need to manage the aggression and prevent arguments and misunderstandings from escalating into physical reactions. Make sure no dangerous objects are within your loved one’s reach, including knives, box cutters, hammers, and other tools that can cause severe physical damage. Report this behavior to your loved one’s primary care physician immediately. The doctor may discover the effects of your loved one’s medication are causing the behavioral problems and prescribe other medicines or change the treatment plan altogether.

Use Respite Care

Fresh faces and different caregiver approaches can help families manage combative behavior caused by Alzheimer’s. Caregivers who specialize in this disease know how to respond to challenging behavior and provide families with tips that can reduce aggression and agitation. Respite caregivers can help out a few days during the week and show you how to reduce triggers that lead to combative behavior. Understanding how environmental factors and poor communication can cause these aggressive reactions can help your family respond correctly and reduce the number of outbursts in the future.

Symptoms such as agitation, confusion, anger, and frustration are common in elderly people with Alzheimer’s. The days, weeks, and months following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be challenging for both seniors and their families. However, these challenges can be made less stressful with the help of caregivers trained in professional Alzheimer’s care. Clearwater Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (727) 330-7862 to learn more about our high-quality Alzheimer’s home care services.