Alzheimer's Association: Aggression and Anger


Posted On June 29th 2013

Aggressive behaviors may be verbal or physical.They can occur suddenly, with no apparent reason, or result from a frustrating situation. While aggression can be hard to cope with, understanding that the person with Alzheimer's or dementia is not acting this way on purpose can help.

Causes

Aggression can be caused by many factors including physical discomfort, environmental factors and poor communication. If the person with Alzheimer's is aggressive, consider what might be contributing to the change in behavior.

Physical discomfort

  • Is the person able to let you know that he or she is experiencing physical pain? It is not uncommon for persons with Alzheimer's or other dementias to have urinary tract or other infections. Due to their loss of cognitive function, they are unable to articulate or identify the cause of physical discomfort and, therefore, may express it through physical aggression.
  • Is the person tired because of inadequate rest or sleep?
  • Are medications causing side effects? Side effects are especially likely to occur when individuals are taking multiple medications for several health conditions?


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