My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about three years ago, and lately she has had these aggressive mood changes, plus she constantly fidgets. What can I do to ease these anxieties?
Aggressions and irritability are the most problematic and stressful for caregivers.
First, did your mom start a new medication? The aggressive mood changes and fidgeting might be a negative reaction to the particular drug.
Consider the time of day you are noticing these aggressive mood changes. Does the fidgeting get worse at that time?
When an individual with Alzheimer’s is aggressive and/or fidgeting, he or she is anxious or worried about something or they may just be bored.
What was going on in your mom’s life prior to her diagnosis at that particular time of day? Is your mom trying to meet an obligation or trying to facilitate a routine she had prior to the disease? What unmet need is she trying to express?
Try to gain more trust and be more trusting by being more accommodating, such as communicating in such a way that assures her you understand. Spend a little more time to ease her worries.
Validate if she verbalizes her feelings, even though they may seem silly or foreign to you. Put something in her hands she can “fidget” with, such as a Rubix cube, a baby blankets with the colorful ribbons on them, sorting buttons, folding clothes — these are just some examples that would assist in promoting calm and will ease anxieties that cause aggression.
Most of all, make it a purposeful day for your mother. She needs to be needed.
Give her something to do that she enjoys and praise as her minute she’s doing it.
Live the moment with her as much as you can.
Questions about Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia disorder? Contact Dana Territo, director of services at Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area, (225) 334-7494, email@example.com, or visit the organization at 3772 North Blvd., Baton Rouge.