Managing Challenging Behaviors of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Date:

August 28, 2021
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| Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias can cause people to act in different and unpredictable ways from their usual behavior before the disease. Remember, it is difficult behaviors, not a difficult person. The difficult behavior is the disease not the person.

Some individuals become anxious or aggressive, repeat certain questions or gestures, or may misinterpret what they hear.  These types of reactions can lead to misunderstanding, frustration and tension, particularly between the person with dementia and the caregiver.

Challenging behaviors can have many causes

  • Physical pain or discomfort: Illnesses, medication, hunger or thirst.
  • Overstimulation: Loud noises or a busy environment.
  • Unfamiliar surroundings: New places or the inability to recognize home.
  • Complicated tasks: Difficulty with activities or chores.
  • Frustrating interactions: Inability to communicate effectively may cause fear, sadness or anxiety.
  • Difficult Behaviors.

Basic Tools For Managing Difficult Behavior

Different techniques can help with different behaviors, but below are some basic techniques. See Behaviors pamphlet and Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care: Help for Family Caregivers 

  • Reassure the person
  • Review the possible causes
  • Remove any triggers
  • Redirect behavior or attention
  • Restore yourself
  • Review what happened
  • Reach out for help as needed
Reference: Alzheimer’s Association
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