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CAREGIVER BLOGS & ARTICLES

CNN: When Alzheimer’s Turns Violent

In 2011, CNN released an article titled “When Alzheimer’s turns violent,” which stated that 5-10% of Alzheimer’s patients can become violent with their caregivers. “If you don’t understand what’s happening because your brain is not functioning, it can be scary,” said Beth Kallmyer, senior director of constituent services at Alzheimer’s Association. “It’s normal human behavior. You might act out, become agitated, or violent if you don’t know what’s going on.”

When violence is on the increase, they suggest five tips to defuse it:
1) Back down
2) When the patient is upset, apologize — even when it’s not your fault
3) When the patient becomes agitated, change the topic (Redirect)
4) Keep in mind that the world is distorted for an Alzheimer’s patient
5) Call for help

Maria Shriver: Help for Caregivers at the End of Their Rope

Maria Shriver’s blog illustrates how one can Help Caregivers At the End of Their Rope. Like Norman in our film, we want to keep our promises. Oftentimes, though, we don’t know what level of care is needed, nor can we afford to send our loved ones to a facility since it can be very expensive to do so. If the person one is caring for has little to no familial support or if the caregiver is burned out from the caregiving situation, the caregiver may need assistance from an aging life care professional.

WebMD: Alzheimer’s Aggression: What You Can Do

WebMD provides suggestions on how to deal with aggression, which include, but are not limited to: not asking too many questions at once, not arguing, thinking ahead of situations that could upset the patient, and focusing on the past, since Alzheimer’s affects the short term memory.

Dementia Dynamics: When Nothing Stops the Violence

Here is our summary of  article called  that shows  Dementia Dynamics is an Alabama based company that provides online education and technology to their caregivers.  Their article, “When Nothing Stops the Violence,” shows that Alzheimer’s can turn some a peaceful man into a violent, aggressive one. For example, one man’s father-in-law was an upstanding citizen who never abused anyone until he get the disease. He had a variation of Alzheimer’s disease that immediately affected his behavior. He became increasingly agitated, obsessive and violent towards his wife, characteristics that were not typical of him. “They had multiple caregivers in the 7 facilities he went through in 2 years.” Due to his increasingly erratic, uncontrollable behavior, he had to be committed to a geriatric dementia psychiatry facility in the state mental hospital for the remaining sixteen years of his life. Depending on the type of dementia disease, a patient can turn violent and potentially harm others. Though it’s important to realize that this can happen, it’s also important to not be afraid of it. Dementia destroys a person’s sense of sanity. Those with the disease would, if they were in their right mind, not want to harm others. Instead, they would want to be committed to a facility where they could receive the help they need.

PBS: Tips for health and sanity that every caregiver needs

The PBS.org website has an article titled “Tips for health and sanity that every caregiver needs.”  It lists some of the risks of long-term caregiving, which include sleep deprivation, depression, the lack of counseling to deal with stress, and the belief that complaining is a sign of weakness. They suggest things caregivers can do to help themselves cope, such as relaxing/taking a break from caregiving, getting support, forgiving yourself, and accepting help when offered.