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Dealing with Combativeness

It can be extremely difficult to learn that you are no longer able to do things that once came so easy to you. If you make the decision to give your loved one in-home care—whether your family does it themselves or employs the services of a professional, you can expect to come up against some opposition. After all, no one likes not being able to do even simple tasks on their own. If your loved one is normally quite friendly and quiet, this can often be surprising. Though, it’s important to remember that when it happens, the outburst is almost certainly the result of some other condition, like dementia.

In order to be able to handle outbursts and combativeness, you’ve got to git rid of whatever is causing the issue and prompting the behavior, but you can’t deal with the problem if you don’t know what it is. That’s why it’s also vital to be patient and listen, though if they are agitated or upset, that may prevent them from forming their thoughts and speaking properly.

When you’re talking to or dealing with someone who is being combative, you should do your best to appear non-threatening, so be sure to use a calm tone of voice and try to be aware of your body language. If you seem closed off to the problem at hand, you can inadvertently cause it to escalate. Your goal should be to help the person calm down and take their mind off of what’s bothering them. That involves not only paying attention to them, but yourself as well.

There are a number of ways to do this, such as removing distractions from the environment, using different types of calming therapies, like music or interaction with animals, or perhaps even exercise or modifying the diet. Always consult with the person’s doctor prior to making any changes in that regard.

Caring for a loved one or family member that is going through dementia is tough enough as it is without also piling combativeness on top of it too. However, remember that they aren’t acting out just to cause a problem, they’re suffering from something they cannot understand, and that’s just as scary for them as it is for you, if not more so. If you’re patient, kind, and you listen to them and pay attention to things they say and do, you can help to lighten that burden and ease the struggle.

Again, this is just as much a struggle for them as it is for you, but it’s one that you can overcome if you work together. Change won’t be instantaneous; it can and will take time, but the goal for everyone should be a happier, healthier, more productive life for the elder—which will let you have happiness and peace of mind as well, and that’s just as important.

If you or someone you love needs assistance with Elder Care law issues, call 856-281-3131. Let us help ease your stress and give you a plan.