If you have a loved one living with dementia, you may find that they experience intense anger episodes from time to time. While this may be frustrating for everyone involved, including yourself, it’s important to understand the causes of anger in dementia. This will allow you to better respond to and cope with these situations when they occur.
Symptoms of Anger in Dementia
When someone with dementia gets angry, this can result in violent or aggressive episodes. Some of the symptoms they may exhibit includes raising their voice, throwing things, trying to physically attack someone else, or using foul language. Depending on the individual, you may get some warning signs that your loved one is going to have an anger episode, or it may happen without warning.
Causes of Anger in Dementia.
There are numerous common reasons that can cause your loved one with dementia to get angry. Some of them are directly related to their condition, whereas others may not be. Find out more about them below:
It is not uncommon for dementia patients to experience distortions of reality. This includes paranoia and in some cases, having delusions and hallucinations. Keep in mind that not every individual with dementia may experience this.
- Misunderstandings and Miscommunication
Because dementia affects the way in which an individual communicates, this can result in frequent misunderstandings. When your loved one with dementia does not understand what you are saying or that you are trying to help them, they can end up getting angry and impatient.
- Memory Loss and Loss of Recognition
If you find that your loved one has trouble recognizing you as well as those around you, this can be highly frustrating for them. The end result is fear, anxiety and even episodes of anger. As they do not recognize their family members, they may take them to be strangers and react out of fear that there is a stranger in the house.
Coping with Episodes of Anger
Even if you understand what’s causing a loved one to end out, it can be difficult coping with it sometimes, especially if you are the target of their aggression. However, one thing to understand is that arguing with an individual with dementia does not work. It can only end up making them angrier and escalate the situation.
If you are unable to calm down immediately, the best thing is to walk away from the situation and allow your loved one some time and space. Or you may try to use this distraction, such as turning on their favorite song or TV show.
Explore Memory Care Options for Your Loved One with Dementia
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