Alzheimer's Society: Dealing with aggressive behaviour


Posted On June 29th 2013

If you are close to someone with dementia, there may be times when you are faced with aggressive behaviour. This can be very distressing. This factsheet aims to aid understanding about what may cause this type of behaviour and offers some ways to deal with it. This should make sure it happens less often, and mean that you are better able to manage when it does.

What do we mean by 'aggressive behaviour' in people with dementia?

People with dementia may sometimes behave aggressively in one or more of the following ways:

  • being verbally abusive or threatening
  • being physically threatening, such as kicking or pinching
  • lashing out violently at people or property
  • overreacting to a situation, or becoming very agitated as a result of what seems to be a very minor setback or criticism.

What causes aggressive behaviour?

There are many reasons why a person with dementia may act aggressively, including:

  • feeling frightened or humiliated
  • feeling frustrated at being unable to understand others or make themselves understood
  • the physical effects of dementia, which may have eroded their judgement and self-control
  • loss of inhibitions and decreased awareness of rules about appropriate behaviour learned in early childhood.


#Aggression, #Alzheimers, #AlzhiemersSociety, #England



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