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The Argumentative Senior: When Alzheimer’s Affects Everything

The Argumentative Senior: When Alzheimer’s Affects EverythingSome people have a tendency to be argumentative about almost every situation in life. They are argumentative in their teenage years, young adult life, middle-age, and as they approach retirement. Some things never change, but for the average senior who may be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, even if they had a wonderful temperament during life, things can change as a result of the disease.

The many signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

There are numerous signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, not the least of which is memory loss. Memory loss will begin to impact daily life, usually before a person is formally diagnosed. If somebody begins exhibiting memory related symptoms, such as forgetting appointments, using the wrong word at times and not realizing it, and forgetting about conversations or visits with friends or others, they should be encouraged to visit their doctor.

Only a medical professional can formally diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. When somebody has been diagnosed, it’s also a good idea to sit down and talk about long-term care options. Sure, in the beginning, that senior might have no trouble taking care of themselves with only minimal reminders, but things will change before long.

They may even become argumentative and combative.

When a person feels as though their own independence, their own autonomy is being negated or stripped away, they could begin lashing back out, even at those who they love and whom they know love them. As the disease alters the brain, it will create different behaviors among some people.

How do we deal with this type of situation?

The best thing is for any family to sit down and discuss the prospect of hiring a home care aide. An experienced caregiver, especially somebody who works for an agency, will be highly equipped and knowledgeable about the best strategies, including developing a routine, that can offer comfort, avoid contentious situations, and deal with those combative tendencies.

There could be any number of reasons for these aggressive behaviors.

It could be directly related to the alterations in the brain. It could be the direct result of a feeling of insecurity, loss of independence, and fear. It could be the person’s nature coming through.

One of the best ways to deal with this is by ignoring.

Yes, each person, family member or a professional caregiver, needs to treat this senior with respect and listen to what he or she has to say to ensure they are being treated properly, but if the argumentative nature is simply to be combative, ignoring that person is one of the most effective ways to short-circuit the behavior.

A senior should never be ignored to the point of their safety being compromised, but only when they are being argumentative, as long as they are physically safe, this strategy may help to reduce instances like it from continuing to happen over and over again.

Angel Alliance Caregivers of Galloway, NJ is dedicated to helping seniors maintain full, independent lives where they most desire to live: in the comfort of their own homes. Call us at (609) 965-0028.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN

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