6 Reasons Older Adults with Dementia Get Angry

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Your senior loved one’s sudden outbursts of anger may leave you reeling from stress. As a family caregiver, you may sometimes feel as though you didn’t sign up for yelling or physical aggression. Anger may be especially troubling when your loved one was never like this before receiving a dementia diagnosis. Seniors with dementia do sometimes exhibit outbursts of anger that are difficult to address. Watch out for these six reasons that are often behind the anger so you can use the right strategy to get your loved one’s emotions under control. 

1. Feeling Hungry or Uncomfortable

Seniors with dementia aren’t always able to express themselves clearly. Your loved one may start screaming because he or she is hungry or start tossing things in a room to signal that he or she needs to have soiled clothing changed. Always start by looking for a physical cause for the anger. If your loved one hasn’t eaten recently, it could just be a reaction to low blood sugar.  Caring for senior loved ones 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 caregivers can turn to 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.

2. Experiencing a Delusion or Hallucination

Your loved one’s symptoms may include confusion about the current time and place, which could cause your loved one to get mad at you for something like not letting him or her leave to go to his or her former job. Your loved one may also be experiencing a delusion, such as thinking a shadow on the wall is a monster. Distractions can help during this type of situation. 

3. Becoming Frustrated with a Challenge

Check to see what your loved one is doing when he or she gets angry. If your loved one is trying to get dressed, cook, or do another task, ask if he or she needs assistance. Depending on your parent’s mood, you might be able to help. You can also redirect your loved one to a different activity if the one he or she is currently doing doesn’t have to be done immediately. 

4. Wanting Attention

Boredom or loneliness could make your loved one lash out. Although it seems self-defeating, your loved one may have realized that screaming or throwing things causes you to come running. If your loved one has been alone for a while, invite him or her to help you with a simple task or play a game. When this happens on a regular basis, your loved one may benefit from a companion who can keep him or her entertained while you manage other duties.  A professional home caregiver can be a wonderful game-playing partner for your loved one. Families shouldn’t have to worry about finding reliable senior home care. Arlington Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of elderly home care. We offer a proprietary program called the Balanced Care Method, which uses holistic methods to promote senior health, our caregivers and Care Managers are available 24/7, and all of our in-home care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

5. Experiencing Physical Pain

Being in pain can make anyone cranky. However, your loved one might not know any other way to express it. Look for other signs of pain, such as grasping the stomach or walking strangely. If you notice something new, make sure to have it checked out by a physician. 

6. Being Overwhelmed by Too Many Sensations

Seniors with dementia may also get angry from trying to take in too much at once. Try shutting off the television or lowering the lights. Creating a relaxing environment sends cues to your loved one that it’s time to be calm.  Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Arlington families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care. For compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (817) 591-1580 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services. 


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