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    How can aggression in a person with dementia be managed?

Posted on Tue, 25 Jul 2017 in Elderly Problems
Question: My father was diagnosed with dementia with lewy body 5-6 years ago. However he was fully functional. He could drive,manage personal accounts and virtually do everything.

At 2013 he broke his hip and had full sedation during the operation. After that he had permanent post surgery cognitive decline. He had difficulty to walk, he was not independent any more(e.g take a shower) and had decline mental ability with confusion.

At May 2016 he broke his other hip. This time he was operated with epidural sedation. He declined a bit more, but one thing that visibly change is the fact he is a lot more aggressive. He refuses to take his medications and with no apparent reasons he punches and kicks virtually everybody, my mother, me , nurses etc.

Any suggestions especially on how to control his aggression.


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Answered by Dr. Salah Saad Shoman 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Surgery and anesthesia was the trigger factor

Detailed Answer:
Dear sir, I have gone through your question and I understand your concerns but unfourtanetly dementia entails a progressive and chronic decline in cognitive function, not limited to memory impairment, which significantly interferes with baseline daily functioning and frequently involves behavioral disturbances as aggression. His exposure to ansthesia and surgery acted as a trigger factor this further decline.
however , there are many interventions that can decrease the frequency of his aggressive behavior, including behavioral modification which includes identification of situations in which his agressive behavior occur and other sitiuations that are pleasant to him .. then giving instructions to his caregivers on how to anticipate these situiations and cope with them , trying to avoid the unpleasant situiations and trying to enhance the pleasant ones.
Another method is optimizing his sensory stimulation , as too much and too little stimulation can lead to agitation. this includes light, sound and touch.. for example too bright or too dim light or noise can negatively affect him, but moderate light and music can decrease his aggression .
you should also try to engage him is social activities or even excersice that are suitable for his age and condition
if these measures did not help then he can start using an antipsychotic as risperidone or cholinesterase inhibitor to help decrease his symptoms . I hope I answered your question.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Remy Koshy
Answered by
Dr. Salah Saad Shoman

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 2444 Questions


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