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All Posts Tagged: aggression

Non-Medical Approaches for Alzheimer’s

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While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are interventions that can ease symptoms and promote quality of life. Symptoms like confusion, hallucinations, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, and sleep disturbances are all common effects of the disease that may respond to medical treatment. However, because medications often have undesirable side-effects, it is advisable to try non-drug interventions as a first step.

There are many things you can do to help your loved one cope with these changes – without the use of medication. Simple environmental considerations can all help to promote calm and reduce distress including: avoiding background noise, lowering television volume, eliminating clutter, limiting visual distractions, maintaining a comfortable temperature, and providing adequate lighting. Behavioral outbursts often have their origin in physical discomfort: many people with Alzheimer’s lose the ability to communicate issues they are encountering. Looking for and addressing the root causes of disturbing behaviors is vital. Pain and other physical discomfort such as hunger or a full bladder can often trigger behavioral symptoms. By closely observing your loved one, responding to their distress, and anticipating their needs, you can help to ease behavioral symptoms without the need for medication.

In addition to a patient’s environment, entertainment and activity can also be used as treatment. Music therapy is a popular route because familiar songs arouse memories. Animals are s great source of enjoyment. Studies have shown that pets reduce depression related to Alzheimer’s. It is important to consider what kind of pet would be the best match for you loved one based on health condition and average activity level. Other useful practices include aromatherapy, craft projects, and participation in religious services.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care of Alzheimer’s disease. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

Alzheimer Home Care New York

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More Advice on Aggression and Other Behavioral Difficulties

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Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is an incredible challenge. In addition to taking on responsibility for their activities of daily living – dressing, bathing, mealtimes, toileting, and so on – caregivers must contend with the added difficulty of the behavioral changes that often accompany Alzheimer’s. It can be extremely upsetting when someone you love exhibits aggression, confusion, disturbed sleep, or other behavioral issues. Knowing how to respond when these issues do arise – and what you can do to prevent or mitigate them – can help you to manage your own stress level, as well as improve your loved one’s quality of life.

A common behavioral change that occurs in Alzheimer’s patients is increased aggression. Even someone who was previously calm and easy-going can become aggressive or agitated as a result of dementia. Episodes of aggression can come seemingly out of nowhere, with the patient lashing out verbally or physically. However, if your loved one exhibits aggression, it could be because of pain or physical discomfort, hunger, thirst, or disturbances in the environment. Make sure that they have all of their physical needs met and that the environment is soothing, without loud noises, bright lights, lots of activity or unfamiliar people. Also, pay attention to your own tone of voice and body language. Even though people with Alzheimer’s may lose the ability to understand spoken language, they remain highly attuned to non-verbal cues: if you are feeling stressed or irritated, your loved one may become agitated in turn. To help avoid confusion and anger, use simple, easy-to-follow instructions, keep a routine, and make sure that your facial expression and body language convey warmth and calm.

People with Alzheimer’s often experience difficulties sleeping and eating. In order to preserve these crucial functions – and allow yourself to rest and recharge – maintain a consistent routine around sleep and mealtimes. Use soft music, inviting colors, and favorite foods to make eating more appealing. Exercise can stimulate the appetite and encourage sleep. Limit their caffeine and sugar, as well as daytime napping, to help your loved one sleep through the night.
Among the changes that occur with Alzheimer’s, confusion, depression, and hallucinations are common, and can severely impact the patient’s quality of life. Medications can all contribute to these issues, and should be monitored regularly to insure proper dosage and prevent adverse drug interactions. Providing adequate exercise, companionship, and opportunities for meaningful activity, as well as insuring a soothing and calm environment, can all help to mitigate these issues.

If your loved one exhibits wandering behavior, it’s important to make sure that they are safe. Wandering around the house might not be a problem, as long as the patient is kept away from stairwells and other hazards. Make sure to keep doors locked to prevent wandering outdoors. It can be helpful to hide shoes, keys, purses, or other items that the patient habitually brings with them on outings. Appropriate supervised exercise can help to prevent restlessness, and providing distractions, such as music, reading aloud, or looking at pictures, can help to reduce the impulse to wander. In the event that your loved one does go outside, make sure that they wear an ID bracelet at all times, and notify neighbors to be on the lookout.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to provide home health care for you or any loved one. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

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Dealing With Aggressive Behaviors in the Late Stages of Alzheimer’s

Senior couple at home focusing on angry man

When someone you love has Alzheimer’s disease, there are many challenges to contend with. Loss of independence, memory loss, increasing reliance on caregivers, greater difficulty performing everyday tasks, limited mobility, and a change in living circumstances can all be very difficult. In addition to these aspects of Alzheimer’s disease – and often related to them – are behaviors exhibited by patients that can compromise quality of life, and pose challenges for caregivers. Understanding the source of these behaviors and responding to them appropriately can help make the work of caregiving easier, and increase your loved one’s comfort and well-being.

Some of the most common behavioral and cognitive changes associated with Alzheimer’s include aggression, agitation, depression, confusion, suspicion, hallucinations, repetitive behaviors, wandering, and sleep problems. As a caregiver, it’s important to understand that, although you may not be able to pinpoint the exact source of these behaviors, they do have a cause – that has nothing to do with you! In order to provide compassionate care, and avoid burnout, it’s essential to avoid taking behaviors personally. Although it can be very difficult to not take it personally when someone you love lashes out in anger or exhibits suspicion towards you, it’s important to remember that the disease has compromised their rational abilities. Keeping in mind that unpleasant and challenging behaviors originate not with something you have done wrong, but are simply a part of the disease, can help you to remain calm and centered and avoid losing your temper.

When you’re trying to address changes in behavior such as aggression, sleeplessness, or wandering, it’s important to look for underlying clues. While some behaviors have no clear source, much of the time, there is an environmental or physical trigger. Lashing out physically or verbally, for example, can indicate that the person is in pain. An over-stimulating environment with loud noises or unfamiliar people can contribute to agitation; conversely, boredom or a lack of exercise can cause restlessness and wandering. If your loved one is exhibiting challenging behaviors, try creating a more comfortable environment for them, providing opportunities to engage in meaningful activities, or changing your communication style by speaking more slowly and using words and gestures that are easier to understand. Above all, it’s important to remain calm and patient. Don’t try to persuade your loved one of anything or control them: rather, accept that behavioral changes are an inevitable part of Alzheimer’s, and deal with them as they arise.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care of Alzheimer’s disease. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

Alzheimer Home Care New York

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