If a loved one has dementia it can be a difficult time for all those involved. Family members that were once kind and gentle can become prone to angry outburst and accusations – through no fault of their own. When we think of the main symptoms of dementia we tend to focus on confusion and memory loss, but the personality changes that their loved ones experience can often be some of the worst side effects that come with the condition. When a person you know completely changes the way they act to something out of character it can be a difficult thing to witness and you may be thinking about getting dementia care.
There is currently no cure for dementia, though a lot of research is ongoing. It has been found that those with dementia are more sensitive to emotional contagion which is the ability to mirror another’s feelings. This means that if they see a carer or family member upset or frustrated, they might mirror this. This combined with an inability to express how they are feeling and what they need is what likely leads to these outbursts. While these outbursts aren’t nice for anyone involved, there are a few things you can do to try and help with the anger that they might display and hone it in before it escalates. Here are some top tips for dementia care with anger.
Don’t snap back
While a natural response can be to argue when someone shouts or isn’t very nice to you, this is the worst thing to do. Instead, take a deep breath and reassure your loved one instead that everything is okay. Their reaction is likely to be a knock-off effect from the frustration of not being able to express their needs properly, so try and find other ways to decipher what these needs are.
Keep a record of their behaviour
Is there a certain time of day that they seem to get more angry or frustrated? Or is it when they are trying to do a certain task or think of something in particular? By keeping a record of it you can see what might be causing these outbursts to happen and prevent them from happening as often in the future. You could write it down in a notebook and look out for any patterns in how they react.
Adjust the environment that they are in
In dementia patients, they can be triggered by over-stimulation so try to make their space as calm and distraction-free as possible. Reduce as much noise as you can and get rid of unnecessary clutter. Put on some relaxing music and offer them a weighted blanket or something that can help them to feel soothed. You could read a book or offer them another form of distraction that should help them.
Be sure to give yourself time off
If you are a dementia carer for your loved one, it can become draining and take an impact on your mental health. That is where Secure Healthcare Solutions Dementia Care services come in. We have a range of dementia care services near you that can help ease the burden on you and give them an extra level of care too.
Remember to not take it to heart when a loved one gets angry and that they don’t mean it. Just be there for them and seek extra dementia care near you if needed. Find out more about our dementia care services and how we can help here.