SUPPORT FOR OLDER ADULTS WITH MEMORY LOSS AND THEIR FAMILIES

Managing Aggressive Behaviors in People with Dementia

It is essential that families understand why aggression in people with dementia arises and what to do to reduce frustration. UCLA psychologist Linda Ercoli, PhD empowers CAREgivers with a thorough explanation of the common causes of verbal and physical aggressive behavior in persons with advancing dementia.

Dr. Ercoli explains that aggression in people with dementia is a range of behaviors. Self-harm, catastrophic reactions, violence toward others, vulgar language, throwing things, spitting on others, and obscene sexual gestures are all forms of aggression that are prevalent in persons with dementia. According to Dr. Ercoli, 98% of dementia CAREgivers will observe some form of aggression, with the likelihood increasing in the latter stages of progression.

Dr. Ercoli stresses the importance of understanding the sources of aggression, including internal factors, environmental factors, and communication barriers. She explains the ways well-intentioned loved ones can reinforce aggression and increase the likelihood of it repeating or escalating. She then explains the best ways to resolve aggression and decrease the likelihood of reoccurrence. We recommend the investment of an hour to view her full discourse HERE.

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