Tuesday Tips for Caregivers – Dementia and Difficult Behaviors (What Do I Do Now?)
As many caregivers know, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can lead to out of the ordinary behaviors, aggression that cannot be explained and even depression. It is important to know how to handle these situations when they arise.
By following the guide below, you can learn the reasons behind some of these behaviors and ensure you are handling each situation at your best.
Example # 1
Confusion with time and/or place
“When will my mom be home?” “I am going home today”. “What time is it?” “Where are we?” These are all common examples of a dementia patient being confused with their location or time.
Remember that Alzheimer’s disease works in reverse for your loved one. When they are asking to go home, the home they may be speaking of may be a childhood home or even the home they raised their children in where they had more control of their lives. The best thing to do in this situation is acknowledge their concern and redirect to help them not become fixed on that idea. Sometimes bringing out pictures and memorabilia can help as well but use this at your best discretion as it can bring up unwanted memories.
Aggressive tones and/or actions
Your loved one may express their feelings more direct than they used to. Feelings can turn into anger such as “You need to leave now” or “I will not take a shower”. These aggressive tones can easily turn into actions such as pushing, kicking, spitting, or even hitting.
Your loved one may be expressing a feeling of discomfort, may feel that they are not being heard, or even feeling lost in an unfamiliar place. It is important to remember that your loved one is not doing this on purpose. Address their concerns one at a time and try to get to the bottom of what they are feeling. If the aggressive behavior continues, consider a doctor visit to ensure your loved one is not in physical pain that they cannot describe to you such as a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection).
Showing problems with thinking and poor judgment
Some of those crazy accusations like, “Someone stole all of my left shoes” or “They come every night to take my pills away”. Some other examples can be signs of hoarding boxes of irrelevant items or easily getting confused when asked a simple (to us) question.
The reasons for these accusations and problem solving skills is due to brain cell lose within their disease. The best way to tackle these obstacles is to begin with assessing the severity of the accusation. You may want to consult with their primary physician as well to rule out any medication side effects. Your physician may prescribe alternate medications to balance out the activity. Never ask your loved one if they are capable of doing a certain task or make them feel disengaged. Help them along this journey and continue to be their rock. Offer tips and tricks but do not push.
To contact ElderCare at Home
Feel free to call us at (888) 285-0093. Thanks for joining us today and we’ll see you again next week!