Aggression is a common behavioral symptom of distress in people with dementia. As you try to determine what may be causing aggression, take note of the context of the aggressive behavior. In some cases, the aggression may actually be resistance to care.
For example, is the person trying to hit or scratch a caregiver during morning care? This may due to the inability of the person to communicate his/her desires to the caregiver, or a feeling of being threatened during a vulnerable interaction such as dressing or bathing. Try to include the person in caregiving activities as much as possible. Hand the person a washcloth and ask her to wash her face (or use visual cuing/gesturing) while you wash feet or gather clothing. If needed, use hand-over-hand technique while brushing teeth, bathing and combing hair. This promotes range of motion activity, helps preserve dignity, and gives a sense of control back to the person with dementia.
Have a great week!