What Causes Aggression in a Person with Dementia?

Aggression and Dementia in a person. But what causes the aggression?

Aggression and dementia can be linked

Aggression and dementia are difficult to deal with for any carer because the individual showing aggressive behavior is often unaware of their actions.

It can be a very difficult thing to deal with and there are no clear-cut answers to how and why the person may become aggressive but it can help if you can identify when and what triggers a person to get aggressive.

We take a look at some common causes of aggression in a person that suffers from dementia.

 Common Causes of Aggression

Not being to be able to recognise places, people or things that were once familiar to the person, especially if they are often reminded that this is something or somewhere they should know.

  • Fear at showing their failings and lack of ability to remember things.
  • Misunderstanding or an inability to understand the situation they are in. This could be visit to the doctors or shops.
  • Frustration. This can be caused by many things. The individual could get frustrated when they forget how to do common things. It could be as simple as getting washed and dressed or making a cup of tea that can lead to the frustration.
  •  Failure to so simple tasks
  • Lack of attention which may lead to them feeling isolated and rejected
  • Being tired. Lack of sleep.
  • Being asked a question that they are unable to answer
  • If the person with dementia has their personal space invaded by a person they think is a stranger
  • Frustration at having to be depending on other people
  • Lack of personal dignity by others which may lead to humiliation
  • Fear at their loss of control and realization that they have dementia and they are loosing their mental powers
  • Medication. Prescribed drugs and medication can lead to aggression.

Help to Deal with Aggression and Dementia

There is no one way to deal with an individual if they get aggressive because all people and all situations are different but there are some ways that could help you as the carer deal with the situation.

We take a look at some of the things to remember and some of the methods that could help you when dealing with a person with dementia .

  • Keep calm. Your tone of voice is crucial. Do not get aggressive yourself. Communicate with the person in a slow, non aggressive manner.  Remember that its the disease that is causing the aggression in the person.
  • Remember, it’s not personal. Even if the aggression is aimed at you as the carer.
  • Look for the cause of the aggression. Does the person get aggressive at certain times.

If the person gets aggressive often it can be very helpful to keep a diary or write down the trigger points in a care plan if the person has one.  You should look for and keep a note of things that set off the aggression in the person.

Are there certain times of day or certain situations when the individual gets aggressive.

By keeping a note of the times and situations that the individual may get aggressive you should be able to better understand and deal with a person when they get aggressive.

Writing down this information will also help you find ways of avoiding situations that may trigger aggression in a person and help you better understand aggression and dementia.

What do you think? How do you deal with an individual with dementia who gets aggressive?

let us know below.

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