QUESTION & ANSWER
Q: How do you deal with a dementia patient who is aggressive?

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A:

Dementia mood swings can happen suddenly with dementia patients. To help alleviate their stress, check for physical comfort and needs. If they are uncomfortable, they may not express it, but it may trigger a mood swing. Also, create a calm environment. When someone has dementia, a loud room or even background noise can be agitating.

Also consider these tips to help you handle these moments:

  • Redirect attention by focusing on happy memories or an upcoming task

  • Be understanding rather than confrontational

  • Take breaks and get support

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
  1. Treatments for Behavior. Alzheimer’s Association. http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_treatments_for_behavior.asp 
  2. Alzheimer’s Disease. Helpguide.org. http://www.helpguide.org/articles/alzheimers-dementia/alzheimers-disease.htm 
  3. Communicating with someone who has Alzheimer’s. Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation. https://www.alzinfo.org/articles/communicating-with-someone-who-has-alzheimers/ 
  4. Beyond Memory Loss: How to Handle the Other Symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Hopkins Medicine. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/healthy_mind/beyond-memory-loss-how-to-handle-the-other-symptoms-of-alzheimers