Dealing with anger

From the February/March 2017 issue of our magazine, Talking Point members share their tips in Dementia together magazine on how to support a person with dementia if they become angry or frustrated.

Advice from our online community 

Stock image of angry man.

Chocolateear says,

'I have several strategies. If I can't get him to listen by talking quietly to him and stroking his hand, then I try to distract him with something else.

‘If he doesn't want to be distracted, then I remove myself by either just going outside briefly or into another room. Being out of sight usually works as, if he has to come and find me, he usually forgets the root of the aggression and is pleased to see me.

‘We have been going out for walks every day, which seems to have curbed the aggression at the moment. It means housework doesn't get done, but it's worth it. We even put our waterproofs on and walk in the rain – very exhilarating!’ 

Casbow says,

‘I am not sure that I am very good at dealing with it. Most of my husband’s anger is about personal care (which includes getting out of bed) and taking him out when it is not the right time. This is difficult as he changes moods so quickly.

‘I usually walk away and wait five minutes before I go back and try again. Sometimes this works in a couple of efforts, other times it can take two hours. I try to tell myself that it isn't really him being so nasty, but it can be so difficult keeping calm. Some days I think I hate him. But then I know once it is all over that I still love him and when he is not nasty he is childlike and sometimes funny (in a nice way). 

‘Going into a shop can be very difficult. In a bad mood he will not even get out of the car. In a good mood he goes up to old ladies (older than me!) to give them a hug and thinks he knows them. I have to apologise and try to keep him away from them. At the moment he is talking to someone (there's no one there) and laughing and seems happy in his own world. What can I say but take it one day at a time. Every day is different. I love him and I hate the man dementia has ruined.’   

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