What to Do When Alzheimer’s Turns Violent
Alzheimer’s is a disease that can turn violent causing even the meekest individuals to become aggressive and violent. Alzheimer’s can turn violent suddenly with no reason or due to a frustrating situation. Coping with patients when Alzheimer’s has turned violent can be difficult.
What Causes Alzheimer’s To Turn Violent?
- Physical discomfort
- Physical pain from infections or the urinary tract can contribute to a change in behavior. This is common for Alzheimer’s patients. Patients are also unable to articulate or identify the cause of discomfort or pain so they may express it through violence. Other sources of physical discomfort include lack of enough sleep, hunger, and thirst or medication.
- Environmental factors
- Loud noises and physical clutter can over-stimulate a person with Alzheimer’s. If the person is surrounded by unfamiliar people or they feel lost,
- Alzheimer’s can turn violent.
- Poor communication
- When patients are unable to understand and process the information given to them.
How To Respond To These Causes
- Identify the immediate cause that may have triggered the Alzheimer’s to turn violent
- Rule out any pain that may cause the violence
- Don’t focus on the facts and specific detail rather focus on the patient’s feelings
- Don’t get upset or raise your voice. Stay positive and reassuring. Use a soft tone.
- Limit the distractions in the patient’s surroundings.
- Try and engage the patient in relaxing activities like music, massage, or exercise. You should soothe the patient.
- Change the focus from the immediate situation or activity that may have caused the Alzheimer’s to turn violent to another activity
- Take a break from the patient when you have established their safety
- Establish the safety of both you and the patient especially when the patient is unable to calm down
- Talk with other people who have had similar experiences and learn what strategies have worked for them
What Is Delirium?
This is one of the greatest contributors to Alzheimer’s turning violent. Delirium is a state of confusion that is worse than the usual state of confusion.
It is brought on by some kind of illness or stress on the body or mind. Some common facts about delirium are:
- People with dementia who experience delirium never recover completely
- People who experience delirium are likely to mentally decline more quickly than others who do not have delirium
- People with dementia and Alzheimer’s tend to have hospital delirium
- It can cause Alzheimer’s to be violent
Delirium speeds up the decline rate of Alzheimer’s and any other form of dementia. It is scary for Alzheimer’s patients. Since patients cannot completely avoid going to the hospital, there are steps that you can take to reduce the chances of the patient experiencing delirium and Alzheimer’s turning violent.
How To Respond To Delirium
- Teach yourself about delirium and learn more about what brings it about, how to manage it and how to prevent it
- Be careful about surgery and hospitalizations because these actions present the risks of Alzheimer’s turning violent
- Learn to spot delirium in the hospital and address it when it appears.
It is quite unfortunate that at one point of the progression of Alzheimer’s, the disease will turn violent.