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Aggression in Dementia

When there is aggressive behaviour as part of someone’s dementia, the duration varies from person to person. Episodes may be brief or prolonged, depending on individual factors and the effectiveness of interventions. Our Care Professionals are familiar with managing aggressive behaviour in dementia, providing the support for individuals to live in the safe and familiar surroundings of their own home.

What is Aggression in Dementia?

Aggression in dementia refers to behaviours that can include verbal outbursts, physical aggression, and heightened irritability. It's important to understand that aggression in dementia is not deliberate or intentional but rather a manifestation of the underlying disease affecting the brain.

Symptoms of dementia, such as memory loss, confusion, and personality changes all contribute to the complexity of managing aggression in dementia.

Why is aggression in dementia happening?

Understanding the root causes of aggressive behaviour in dementia is crucial for effective management and care. Common triggers include:

  • Challenges in communication: Frustration at being unable to express their needs or understand others.
  • Physical discomfort: Undetected pain or discomfort can lead to increased irritability and aggression.
  • Environmental factors: Changes in surroundings, loud noises, or unfamiliar faces can cause confusion and distress.
  • Unmet needs: Basic needs like hunger, thirst, or the need for help while using the toilet, may also contribute to aggression.
  • Psychological factors: Depression, anxiety, or other psychological issues can exacerbate aggression in individuals with dementia.

Recognising these triggers allows carers to implement specialised strategies to prevent or manage aggressive episodes.

Types of Aggression in Dementia

Aggressive behaviour in dementia can manifest in various ways:

  • Verbal aggression: Outbursts, yelling, or verbal hostility.
  • Physical aggression: Hitting, pushing, or other physical confrontations.
  • Agitation: Restlessness, pacing, or constant movement.

Understanding the specific types of dementia and aggression allows carers to tailor care for each individual, allowing for better outcomes.

What are the causes of Aggression in Dementia?

Dementia-related aggression is multifaceted and can be attributed to many factors, such as:

  • Neurological changes: Alterations in the brain's structure and function.
  • Psychological factors: Anxiety, fear, or frustration due to cognitive decline.
  • Medical conditions: Pain, infections, or other health issues.

A detailed understanding of these all these factors enables carers to create a comprehensive approach to the management of aggression in Dementia.

How Long Does Aggression Last in Dementia?

The duration of aggression in dementia varies from person to person. Episodes may be brief or prolonged, depending on individual factors and the effectiveness of interventions. Consistent and targeted management strategies, coupled with professional support, can contribute to reducing the frequency and duration of aggressive episodes.

What to do when dementia patients become aggressive?

Caring for a loved one with dementia comes with its unique challenges, and managing aggression can be a common concern. When dementia patients become aggressive, it is essential for carers to respond with patience and understanding. Here are a few tips and tricks you can try:

  • Remain calm and avoid escalating the situation.
  • Identify potential triggers. Whether it's unmet needs, discomfort, or environmental stressors, then address them accordingly.
  • Offering reassurance and validating their feelings can sometimes alleviate tension.
  • If the aggression persists, consider redirecting their attention to a different activity or environment.

It's crucial to prioritise safety, both for the individual with dementia and yourself. Seeking support from healthcare professionals, joining carer groups, and exploring resources on dementia care can provide valuable insights and coping strategies. Remember, you're not alone in this journey, and seeking help is a sign of strength and commitment to providing the best possible care.

If you’re looking to find vetted and experienced carers that specialise in dementia care, start by posting a job on Curam today. Whether you’re looking for respite care, last-minute emergency care or just someone to come in and help for a couple of hours here and there, Curam is here to help with over 8,000 carers in the UK, with an average of 10 years' experience.

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FAQ's

Alzheimer's and dementia care is a specialised form of care supporting people in the various stages of dementia. This will often include medication prompting, reassurance, assistance with eating and drinking, continence care and therapeutic care.

In-home care can be beneficial to those with dementia and specific neurodegenerative diseases by providing them safety and comfort in familiar surroundings, potentially reducing confusion and making it easier for them to see family and friends.

Live-in dementia care is a good option for those who need constant care but have needs that can be met at home. People in the middle and late stages of dementia will typically require 24-hour home care. Those in the early stages of dementia do not typically require as much assistance, but it's important to monitor their progress and plan for the future.

We know that hiring a carer is an emotionally charged decision, so we've done everything we can to make it as safe, seamless and as stress-free as possible.

Choice is at the heart of Curam. By connecting carers and those who need care, we enable people to take control of their lives and care.

We've made it possible to hire a carer within a matter of minutes. With Curam you can search, interview, message, hire and pay approved and vetted carers throughout the UK.

Experts and experience

Curam is a community of experts. Every carer on Curam's platform has been interviewed and fully vetted by our recruitment team. They have had a DBS check, are legally entitled to work in the UK and any qualifications mentioned on their profile are backed up with certificates.

Self-managed

Curam does things differently. Unlike care agencies, we make sure the choice of care is in your hands. You can interview carers personally before hiring them and have a final say on what their responsibilities will be in your home.

Our carers are self-employed. They don't pay joining fees and their charge rates include Curam's fee of 12.5% and VAT, which covers the cost of their insurance, easy-to-use service agreements and a hassle-free payment system. This means that the client pays less than they would with an agency, and the carer in turn receives a higher wage.

Individual support

In-home care with Curam respects independence. It is tailored to each individual while allowing them to live in the comfort of their own home. Receiving care at home can be a safer and more cost-effective alternative to a care home.

How do I find and hire a dementia carer with Curam?

To arrange live-in care on the Curam platform, create an account and post a job. Provide us with your postcode, your care requirements, your gender preference for carers and more details as needed, and carers that fit your needs will then be able to apply to your posted job.

We recommend that you call or meet your carer of choice before contracting with them. To make this experience safer and easier, we’ve created a video/audio call feature called CuramMeet, that allows you to have a video call with your potential carer, all from the comfort of your own home.

Alternatively, you can use our search tool to find a carer that suits your needs. You can filter by care type, condition, experience, languages spoken and much more in your search. If you see a particular carer that fits your criteria, send them a message outlining your care needs and the dates you're looking for care.

All carers can be tried on a trial basis and any specific arrangement can be changed or cancelled with a minimum notice of 48 hours.

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Clients on the Curam platform pay on average 22% less than the current suggested UK Home Care Association hourly rate of £25.95

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How to pay for in-home dementia care?

You can pay for live-in care privately, with assistance from the NHS or local authority, or from some combination of different sources.

Most people who pursue live-in care will pay for it privately. However, you may be able to get funding to help pay for your care. There are three steps that you can follow to ensure that you receive all the money to which you are entitled:

3 steps to follow

  1. Check your eligibility for benefits with a benefits calculator

    1
  2. Check your eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare funding

    2
  3. Apply for local authority funding

    3

If you still have difficulty funding your own care after checking the above services, you may consider other options such as equity release.

According to the NHS, you might be eligible for local council support towards the cost of your social care if you have less than £23,250 in savings (called the upper capital limit, or UCL). From October 2023 this will rise to £100,000 in savings.

Exactly how much your council will pay depends on what care you need and how much you can afford to pay.

The first step is for your council to do an assessment to check how much help you need. This is called a needs assessment. The needs assessment is free and anyone can ask for one. Find out more about getting a needs assessment.

Some people with long-term complex health needs qualify for free social care arranged and funded solely by the NHS. This is known as NHS continuing healthcare.

To be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, you must be assessed by a team of healthcare professionals (a multidisciplinary team). The team will look at all your care needs and relate them to:

  • What help you need
  • How complex your needs are
  • How intense your needs can be
  • How unpredictable they are, including any risks to your health if the right care is not provided at the right time

Your eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare depends on your assessed needs, and not on any particular diagnosis or condition. If your needs change then your eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare may change.

With Curam, you pay for live-in care though a secure payment system on our app or website. Your carer of choice will create a service agreement and shift invoice, which will automatically be sent to your Curam account for your approval.

Once you have approved these, you will be taken to the payment portal. Your payment is held securely until the shift is completed and is then released to the carer two working days after the end of the shift, minus the Curam fee. Shift invoices typically cover one to two weeks of care at a time, but specific payment frequency can be agreed with your carer.

Off-platform and cash payments are not accepted. These are liable to a fee of £2,000. Please see our terms and conditions for more information, specifically point 9.3.

Top 5 tips to make your home more dementia friendly

Assess the trip hazards in your home

Alzheimer’s and dementia can affect visual-spatial abilities, causing problems with coordination and balance. By removing obstacles and considering flooring and furniture choices, you can avoid common falls. Start by checking there are no loose corners to carpets and rugs. You can also illuminate darker parts of the house with lamps, LED lights, or plug in night-lights. Consider a security light for the entrance or garden and be sure to store ornaments and decorative items out of reach.

Highlight photos of family, friends and loved ones

A familiar environment helps people living with dementia who experience symptoms of confusion and lapses in memory. Research shows that physical objects, such as photos, can improve cognition in those living with later-stage dementia. Objects spark memories and offer opportunities to talk, so be sure to keep framed photographs in obvious places around your home.

Start labelling your cupboards and draws

Early-stage dementia can be easily managed with a few kitchen adaptations. Colour coded labels on foods, drawers and utensils can act as a simple visual prompt. As the symptoms progress, it may not be safe for a person living with late-stage dementia to use the kitchen. Here, a carer can take on the duty of washing up, providing hot drinks, snacks and home cooked meals.

Easy Kitchen Updates

Include safe, comfortable seating to involve people living with dementia in the social experience of meal preparation.

Consider evolving visual needs

Navigating stairs can be difficult if dementia has affected a person’s mobility. Patterns can cause confusion with distance and depth perception - so be mindful of carpet choices and try to replace patterned carpets with a plainer option. Additionally, if you have any dark spots in your home, increase lighting by using plug in night lights, especially on landings and hallways. Some people do decide to relocate their bedroom to the ground floor for ease.

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