Older people sometimes develop dementia, a somewhat common condition that results in mental and emotional confusion.
Some of these people, particularly those who are institutionalized, often display anger outbursts in reaction to relatively mild provocations, such as an unwanted meal item.
At other times the anger is warranted, such as when another resident initiates a conflict.
For reasons like these and others, anger management therapy for dementia patients is becoming increasingly important.
It may be difficult to determine who is eligible for anger management therapy at first. This is partly because residents with dementia who live at home or in nursing facilities may express themselves in non-traditional ways.
While someone who wants their breakfast oatmeal served hotter can just say so, someone with dementia might be able to just make anxious sounds, pace, or even throw the oatmeal on the floor.
Dementia patients may also raise their voice, swing their arms, push, shove, or yank at things or people to convey their irritation.
What's more, some dementia residents may withdraw socially, stop talking to others, or gesticulate excitedly when they are upset. Sometimes these actions are in response to legitimate concerns, while at other times they may reflect unsuitable anger that needs to be redirected.
If someone in your care exhibits dissatisfaction with some aspect of daily care, try to figure out what is bothering the person, and make any needed adjustments that you can. Caregivers must learn to decipher true anger from confusion or self-defense against other aggressive residents.
Anger management therapy should also be considered for those who express real anger inappropriately. If the person is able to understand and respond to caregivers in appropriate ways, he or she may be eligible for this kind of treatment.
Good anger management therapy facilitators and coordinators who work with dementia residents understand the way dementia patients communicate and the types of triggers that can draw their anger. They may have done training in long-term facility care, gerontology, and dementia behaviors.
In anger management therapy, the coordinator may try to make the resident understand the consequences of anger outbursts, or attempt to teach the resident how to redirect anger in acceptable ways.
They may attempt group or individual therapy, depending on the patient’s needs and abilities.
At times, the therapist might want to work with the resident’s physician, social worker, and family to achieve the best results. This type of effort could take a long time and may be only partially successful, but any progress can be helpful to the resident and those that provide his or her care and support.
Family members and caregivers who want to know more can visit websites like anger-management-information.com for more complete information on how to address this key social and interpersonal behavior.
You can also get in touch with the dementia patient's doctor, nursing staff, and social worker for help in assisting them through anger management therapy.
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