Mid to late stage dementia may come with behavioral symptoms like anger, anxiety, confusion, forlornness, and even a state of paranoia and depression. Some patients with dementia show explicit signs of aggressive behavior too. That is why, caregivers acquaint with some of the challenges that such mental symptoms pose in everyday lives, so that they can offer the best care naturally.

If your loved one has dementia, neglecting their needs with a firm ‘no’ may lead to verbose or physical threats albeit not on purpose. Aggression in a dementia patient can be due to bodily discomfort, psychological factors like being in a strange situation, or maybe even poor communication. Dementia affects a majority of seniors and is an umbrella term for symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s or mental illnesses like Parkinson’s disease.

Many of the times, aggressive actions are the outcome of inherent fear in the person. Once you identify the causative factors to dementia symptoms, speak in a calm manner to handle the situation and avoid physical contact too albeit gentle. Above all, knowing the person inside out would help in looking after and caring.

Remember, dementia weakens the cognitive skills, causes confusion, and even leads to memory impairment. There are a few ways to give answers to the queries, which suggest that the patient needs help in identifying a place. Giving explanations in positive tones alongside explicit reminders like photographs would help the patient understand where they are.

Even if you are to take a therapeutic lie saying, “we are not going anywhere due to bad weather”, you must do that in order to make the person feel safe and at ease. Getting into arguments and giving explanatory answers are not the right way to deal with seniors having dementia or even Alzheimer’s disease. Many of the times, such reactions toward dementia may come in the natural course, but they may not be ideal for the patient. Caregivers shall stay immune to emotional reactions in order to make the person feel wanted and not vent emotions.

The caregivers at our community health care centers are usually experts in communication. If you feel that your spouse or parent has dementia, feel free to get in touch with our free clinics for behavioral management and early care.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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