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How to Manage Combativeness in a Loved One Who Has Alzheimer’s

The combative stage of Alzheimer’s tends to hit around the time many of the other symptoms worsen. This is a time when you’re likely already stressed, and it may be difficult to stay calm in the face of aggression being directed toward you by someone you love. While this stage is normal, it doesn’t mean you must accept being lashed out at. These tips can help you address the combative stage of Alzheimer’s disease and continue to stay on top of your senior loved one’s care.

Look at the Behaviours Objectively

When someone you love lashes out, your first response may be to take it personally. You may wonder if you’re simply not cut out to be a carer, or you may even start to think about conflicts you had with your loved one in the past, which could start a pattern of negative thinking that does nothing to help the situation. The truth is that combative behaviour isn’t your fault, and it has nothing to do with how your loved one feels about you. Instead, it’s better to look at how factors within your loved one’s environment and body affect his or her behaviour. For instance, being tired may cause your loved one to be especially aggressive.

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 North Coast 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.

Protect Yourself from Harm

In many cases, combative behaviour is more psychological than physical. However, your loved one may physically lash out with behaviours such as hitting, kicking, or throwing objects. Ideally, you can lower conflict levels before it gets to this point, but you may need to step away and protect yourself from harm if it escalates. Once your loved one starts to hit, push, or kick, make sure he or she is safe, then leave the room. It may be only a matter of seconds or minutes before your loved one calms down and you can return.

Try to Anticipate Challenges

You may start to notice a pattern in your loved one’s behaviour. For instance, your loved one may instantly yell if you startle him or her when you make a request. There may also be certain times of the day when your loved one is more resistant to your instructions. If you know your loved one is going to respond with combative behaviour, try to spend a few minutes just talking to him or her before you ask your parent to do something such as come to the table to eat.

The cognitive challenges that accompany Alzheimer’s often leave ageing 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 homecare families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Rotate Carers

At this point, you should no longer be trying to manage your loved one’s care alone. You need another carer to help out with things such as keeping an eye on your loved one while you manage household chores or do the grocery shopping. When you feel overwhelmed by your loved one’s behaviour, shift roles with another carer. Your loved one may calm down when he or she sees a fresh face, and you’ll get a chance to take a breather. While you may not be able to fully stop combative behaviour, you do have choices regarding how you manage it each day.

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 care workers trained in professional Alzheimer’s care. North Coast Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Call Home Care Assistance at (02) 6646 3527 to learn more about our flexible and customisable aged care plans.