Dementia, Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive problems that arise in the senior population aren't uncommon. However, when the parent who raised you begins to develop these conditions, it can be confusing and jarring. It's even more upsetting when your parent has shocking violent outbursts or becomes aggressive unexpectedly. Sometimes you might not even recognize your parent at all. However, with these techniques and suggestions, aggression and violence may diminish.
Noting Early Signs
After some time with your parent, you'll begin to almost anticipate times of great strain which could kick off violent behavior. For example, if your parent enjoys watching television, turning it off so they can sleep can make them angry. Your parent may not like shower time. Sundowners syndrome could be relevant; day turning into night can make them seem wired and extra irritable.
Once these signs are identifiable, you can then soothe your parent by expecting and mitigating their responses so that violence and aggression never arrive. For example, you might distract them with another fun activity when you turn off the television.
Being hit or screamed at when you've done nothing is stressful. However, it's imperative that you never respond to your parent in the same manner that they're treating you. You could scare them and their behavior could become even more erratic. If you can't stay peaceful all the time, look for opportunities to take frequent care breaks so you can settle your own nerves. You might have relatives or an aide come visit twice a week, for instance.
Talking with Family
Even as the primary carer for your parent, other relatives can relieve some strain. However, if you have siblings or cousins willing to help your parent sometimes, continuity of care is vital. You must tell them about your parent's outbursts and explain how you handle them. Your relatives must adhere to your suggestions; drastic changes in the way your parent is treated could be uncomfortable. It's not unexpected that they would react to changes in treatment with changes in behavior.
ABA (applied behavior analysis) evaluations and therapy could prove necessary. This kind of ABA therapy entails initial assessments and some time spent with your family. Therapists will watch your interactions with your parent and suggest adjustments that could lower your parent's levels of irritation and distress. They'll check in periodically.
Your parent's behavior doesn't have to last. These pointers can calm them and you can feel relief because the two of you can have a more peaceful relationship.