Dementia is a mental disorder that can significantly affect the behavior of a person in their daily life. The most apparent changes include easy agitation, sorrows, nervousness, and over-the-top reactions towards even little matters of life. This article will guide you on managing dementia behaviors of your loved ones more effectively.
Expert Advice on Behavioral Management of Dementia Patients
Dementia is not straightforward. It’s very complicated and unsettling, facing the unexpected behaviors of dementia patients. We’ll do our best to break down all of the different parts
Managing Aggressive Behavior
Dementia patients often express their insecurities in the guise of aggression. This behavior includes unintentional biting, punching, kicking, or hitting as a reaction to their uncontrolled inner fears.
What to do? – Pinpoint the origin of the fears that force dementia patients to react or behave aggressively. The common causes can include pain, anxiety, patient-specific triggers, and controlled thoughts.
In this case, the reasonable action is to leave the patient to have some private time instead of consoling or trying to calm them down.
What to avoid? – Avoid exacerbating the situation or argument that has triggered the aggressive behavior. Instead, leave that topic and accept the person’s point of view.
Managing Abnormally Inquisitive Behavior
What to do? – Keep your answers short and precise. Try explaining the answer using visual aids or photographs. Organize their daily schedule and use alarms or sticky notes to make them remember their daily tasks more effectively. Lie if you have to, to make them feel calm and satisfied with the answers.
What to avoid? – Refrain from in-depth explanations as it will make them question more and make things worse. Avoid talking about their mental disorders and the therapy they are going through as it can trigger mood swings.
Dealing with Weak Judgmental Abilities
Alzheimer’s or Dementia is a chronic ailment and slowly damages the neuronal network of brain cells. This damage appears as a decrease in cognitive abilities and hence the judgment capacities of the patient. People with dementia often struggle to judge between a useful and a useless item. The same goes for judging the importance of a pending task like paying bills on time and blaming the house members for displacing or stealing things.
What to do? – Listen to their situations and try to assist them. Never let them do any task without your supervision, work as a team. Advise them to execute tasks in smaller chunks to make it easy for them.
What to avoid? – Never ask them about the authenticity or correctness of a task they perform. Don’t take over the task they perform; instead, ask them if you can assist them in their functions by showing the interest to learn from them. Avoid making them think that they cannot perform a task correctly without any help.
Supportive behavioral therapy can pose much more positive impacts on the lives of dementia patients. It can be a great ordeal to handle the unpleasant behaviors of a loved one with dementia. However, by effectively managing their triggers, you can at least make them feel worthy and alleviate some of their associated symptoms.
Living in a supportive community can help a person deal with a spouse or relative living with dementia. Looking for that type of community? Check out The Tapestry, an age-targeted community in Garner, NC. Call 919-772-4663.