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How to Handle Dementia Outbursts

By Melissa Hill, 8:00 am on

Managing a loved one’s dementia-related outbursts can be challenging for adult children and caregivers, but incorporating a few useful practices can help prevent or diffuse outbursts quickly.

Identify the Cause
The first step in managing outbursts is to understand the cause. Taking a few mental notes during an outburst will help dementia caregivers understand outburst triggers. These triggers commonly include physical pain seniors are unable to communicate, fatigue due to poor sleep, or unwanted side effects from medications.

Communicate
Once triggers are identified, caregivers can take steps to prevent future outbursts.  This includes maintaining open communication that can help alleviate any confusion and frustration a senior might feel that could lead to an outburst. To facilitate good communication, caregivers should speak clearly and simply with short statements and questions.

Stay Calm
Getting angry and yelling or shouting can further provoke difficult behavior. Instead, remain calm and try to redirect him or her with a different stimulus. Change the conversation, take a walk to a different location, or begin to take part in another activity. If outbursts become violent or physical, using force to restrain a senior should only be used as a last resort, as this kind of action can cause bodily harm and mental anguish that can potentially be avoided.

Being a caregiver can be difficult, especially for loved ones who have an advanced condition, but being there for them in the most caring, patient, and understanding way possible can help soothe outbursts and make the situation better for everyone involved.

For help managing your loved one’s care needs, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Oklahoma. We are a leading provider of senior care in Oklahoma City, Edmond, and the surrounding areas, and our caregivers can provide your loved one the help he or she needs to safely age in the comfort of home. To learn more, call 405-285-4191 and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation with an experienced Care Manager today.