Helping primary care to support people with dementia

Dementia and aggressive behaviour

May 20 2013

This factsheet produced by the Alzheimer’s Society aims to aid understanding about what may cause this type of behaviour and offers some ways to deal with it.

Download Dementia and aggressive behaviour

People with dementia may have occasions where to express their anger, frustration or distress they hit out at others either physically using their arms or legs or using implements, for example throwing cutlery. The person might also bite or pinch others. This behaviour is a way of expressing distress by the person with dementia. But it can be extremely distressing for those people supporting the person in a number of ways, both physically and emotionally.

Occasions where this happens can very often be associated with a particular time of day, or related to care tasks such as when a person is being supported with washing and dressing. At these times the emotions surrounding intimate tasks for both the person with dementia and those providing support and care can be heightened, and it is not unusual for difficulties to arise.

Understanding what is causing the person’s behaviour can help carers to find a solution.

This factsheet provides helpful tips for carers to consider when reacting to aggressive behaviour.

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