When Dementia Causes Meanness

When the Jekyll and Hyde transformation of a sweet and gentle person to an angry and offensive bully occurs, it causes emotional pain and most often is directed at the caretaker who is providing the most care. This change in temperament can be devastating; it is important not to take it personally. That is the most difficult part, but try to understand that the mean behavior is coming from a place of fear or frustration on the part of your patient. Some tips to change or diffuse an angry situation into one of calm and peace follow:

  1. Keep your cool and stay calm. This is more apt to calm down your loved one. Try to shift the person’s attention toward a favorite activity.
  2. Use a quiet, slow and comforting tone to check on what may be causing the feelings of frustration. Address the issues; they may be pain, overstimulation or anxiety.
  3. Learn from experience by keeping a journal of what happened – when and how and eventually what worked to minimize the inappropriate behavior.
  4. Take time out for yourself to refresh and renew. Look for help for yourself. You must repair your own feelings especially after a difficult encounter.
  5. Investigate aggressive behaviors to learn ways to handle the outbursts of your loved one. These behaviors include: shouting, swearing, personal insults, name calling, sarcasm, threatening gestures and verbal threats.
  6. Find more at: http://www.skillsyouneed.com/ps/dealing-with-aggression.html#ixzz4TPfY0kQe

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