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Negative Reactions to Alzheimer's and Memory Loss

By Daniel @ LivingSenior - May 21, 2013

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The majority of families and caregivers handle issues such as memory loss and Alzheimer’s reasonably well. Frustration and fear can lead to anger and rage, but for the most part caregivers and family members learn to see the signs and cope with the issues as best as possible. In certain cases, family members may find that they are unable to cope. In these situations the family members will turn to in-home caregivers or assisted living communities that specialize in memory loss issues. Unfortunately, there are some caregivers who cannot cope well with memory loss patients either. Here are some negative reactions to Alzheimer’s and memory loss that should send red flags and move family members to choose another caregiver or to discuss the caregiver placement with a senior community.

Responsive Rage

It is no secret that individuals with Alzheimer’s and memory loss are frustrated and scared. Unfortunately, this has been dubbed by a less than an understanding group of caregivers as “elder rage.” The way that these caregivers choose to handle this issue is with responsive rage. If you overhear a caregiver yelling, raising their voice or losing their temper with your family member or another elderly patient you should notify the supervisor immediately. If you notice this issue with an in-home caregiver, then find a replacement who is better suited for the position.

Ignoring the Senior

There are a few caregivers who may not be ready or have the experience to deal with a patient living with memory loss issues. In these cases, you may find that the caregiver responds with an attitude that the patient is faking it or trying to get attention. The caregiver will tend to ignore the patient and the patient requests. This can lead to serious medical complications, nutrition issues and hygiene issues.

Forced Scheduling

When you are caring for a patient with memory loss issues, you will find that scheduling may or may not work. Though a certain schedule should be adhered to, the concept can be taken too far when a caregiver has little experience with memory loss patients. In these cases, the negative reaction is to insist and sometimes force patients to adhere to a schedule regardless of the refusal. All rights of the patient are forgotten until someone notices the issue and stops the situation that has now become abusive.

How to Handle the Negative Reactions

If you find that your loved ones in-home or community caregiver is handling memory loss issues with negative reactions, you do have certain avenues to take to stop the abuse. If the caregiver is an in-home provider simply fire them and find another caregiver. Use a reputable agency that can place a caregiver with a history of experience in memory loss to detour further abuse issues. If the negative responses occur in a community setting, contact the community supervisor and request new caregivers. If the community does not respond positively, then consider changing communities or reporting the community for abuse.