Care Relationships: Withstanding the Fury of Alzheimer’s

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As the caregiver for an aging parent or loved one with Alzheimer’s, you have demonstrated strength, devotion and compassion. While many families are able to cope with the physical changes that accompany the degenerative disease, watching a loved one undergo behavioral changes can be heartwrenching. From having a short temper to being rude, angry and insensitive, a loved one’s change in personality can make it difficult for family caregivers to provide care.

If you are having trouble managing your loved one’s behavioral changes, learning what the triggers are and how to avoid them can help keep your sanity intact, while enhancing the relationship you have with your loved one. Also, be sure to read more about Alzheimer’s home care in Scottsdale to see if a professional caregiver can help alleviate your concerns and assist with complex care needs.

Realize Where the Anger Comes From

First, understand that your loved one’s anger doesn’t stem from a lack of love. More often than not, outbursts and unusual behaviors are borne of frustration and stress. Things you don’t notice, like the background noise in restaurants or a large crowd, can be an unbearable sensory overload for someone with Alzheimer’s. He or she may feel pressured to perform tasks that are difficult, or they may be in physical pain they are unable to express. When your parent is calmer, talk openly with them about how they were feeling right before the outburst. You may also want to keep a journal, tracking their behavior in certain situations to try pinpointing the triggers.

Minimize the Outbursts

As you learn what the triggers are, you can take steps to prevent them from happening. If your parent cannot handle crowds, running errands to the grocery store or pharmacy without them may be a better solution. On the other hand, if your aging loved one frequently finds themselves frustrated with the inability to perform daily tasks, consider therapy. A qualified Scottsdale in-home caregiver can also be a great solution as they are trained in how to assist patients with Alzheimer’s, while still promoting their independence. As you take steps to minimize the triggers, you’ll be able to ensure your aging loved one is calmer and comfortable.

How to Respond to the Anger

It will take time to learn the triggers, and you may not be able to completely eliminate sudden outbursts. However, you can learn how to respond when they happen. The first thing is for you to stay calm, maintain your normal tone of voice and avoid getting into a power struggle. Don’t pressure for answers and conversation if your parent isn’t ready, and give them time to settle down.

Keep in mind that how you deal with the behavior changes is critical. You can talk with doctors and therapists to find better coping mechanisms for your family. You can also join a support group for new ideas and a fresh outlook. You may not be able to reverse the personality changes, but it is possible to learn how to minimize problems and cope with their anger and frustration.

For more information about caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s, visit our website at or contact a devoted Care Manager directly at 480-448-6215. Our phone lines are open 24/7 and we are here to answer any of your questions.


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