Find a Community

Understanding Potential Causes of Aggression in Men with Alzheimer’s

Understanding Potential Causes of Aggression in Men with Alzheimer’s

<!–[CDATA[If you are an adult child caring for a father who lives with Alzheimer’s or the spouse of an older man who has the disease, a study released in the fall of 2014 may be of interest. Researchers looked at admission trends for older adults who moved to memory care assisted living communities. While women far outnumber men in traditional senior living communities, a greater number of men are being admitted to memory care programs. Men are moving to dementia care communities at a rate that is 14% faster than women.


Memory Care Admission Trends

The study examined new move-ins that occurred from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2014. In looking at the history of what prompted each move to a memory care program, researchers uncovered some interesting information. When men moved to a memory care assisted living program, 8% of the time it was because their caregiver was unable to successfully manage their wandering at home. 30% of the time it was because the family and caregivers were concerned about their aggressive behavior.

What Indiana Caregivers Should Know about Aggression in Men with Alzheimer’s

Pinpointing a cause of aggression for people who have Alzheimer’s isn’t easy. Dementia experts believe there are a few likely culprits:

  • Undiagnosed or unmanaged pain
  • Overstimulation or a hectic, noisy environment
  • Fatigue or lack of sleep
  • Unmet needs such as hunger, thirst or the need to use the bathroom

Because exaggerated behavior is quite common among people who live with Alzheimer’s, even a seemingly small problem can lead to an angry outburst. Researchers refer to these behaviors as catastrophic reactions.

Recognizing Potential Triggers for Aggression

A few common situations that may trigger aggression in an Indiana senior living with Alzheimer’s disease include:

  • Uncontrolled Pain: If a senior with Alzheimer’s is in pain and suffering, he or she may be unable to communicate that with caregivers. As a result, they may act out.
  • Fatigue: Researchers believe Alzheimer’s disrupts the body’s natural Circadian rhythm. It leads to chronic sleep deprivation. Many experts believe sheer exhaustion may be a common reason for aggression.
  • Overstimulation: Because of the damage Alzheimer’s does to the brain, people who live with the disease have difficulty processing information. When they are in an environment that is hectic and noisy, such as a loud party or a busy shopping mall, they can easily become agitated and aggressive.
  • Difficulty Communicating: Alzheimer’s typically robs people of their verbal skills. The frustration of not being able to communicate with those around them can lead to anger and aggression.
  • Medication Side Effects: An adverse reaction or an interaction between medications may be another source of aggression behavior for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Because the body processes medicine differently with age, side effects are more common among older adults.

If you are having difficulty keeping an Indiana senior with Alzheimer’s disease safe at home, a Five Star Senior Living community may be a solution. We invite you to contact the community nearest you to learn more about how we can help.

Subscribe to the Five Star Blog

Don't miss out on the latest tips, research and stories from Five Star to help you and your
family navigate aging well.