Dementia Care: Behavior and Proper Caregiver Responses

Whether you are a caregiver or have a family member with dementia, you are likely to face experiences with those that have dementia. It is very common and can have many different stages, though it is more common in seniors.

Whatever your level of experience and exposure to dementia as a caregiver, it is always helpful to prepare and learn about different scenarios that can help in your response and care to certain behaviors.

Dementia patients may face many different emotions that can range from anger to confusion. When you take the time to think about the ways that you can respond to these types of emotions in different scenarios, you will set yourself up to make care and interactions easier.

Responding to Aggression with Dementia

Aggression or anger can be a common emotion or responsive that individuals with dementia show. Behavior can start off mild and can be in the form of resistance to common everyday things. And while you may understand you are asking them to do things for their own good, they may no longer be able to understand that in the moment. Remember that an individual with dementia can be facing many different emotions and stressors, and the backlash of aggression is in response to something. It will do you well to try and figure out, if you can, what exactly caused any outburst or rise in aggression. This is also necessary for your own well being, you don’t want a verbally aggressive situation to turn into a physically aggressive situation.

What you need to be able to do is respond with patience and care. Communication to get to the root of the matter is what may work best. Remember that sometimes aggression can come out of fear. It’s even more likely in the case of someone with dementia. Make sure you talk calmly and don’t get angry yourself over anything being said. It’s important not to add fire to the flame.

Responding to Confusion

One of the most common behaviors of people with dementia will be confusion. This can be about where they are, who you are, etc. It can sometimes be frustrating and sad to see and individual you care for in this sort of situation. But, remember that they don’t want to be in this situation either. Confusion can cause great anxiety.

Unfortunately the way the brain is affected due to dementia causes things like memory loss. Beyond that it causes other forms of cognitive impairment which does lead to confusion.

The best way to respond again is gently to the situation. A person with dementia can be aided by guiding the person with short explanations to their questions. But, in other scenarios where that may not be working, try to focus on physical things that they can hold or photos that they can look at. They key here is to try and bring them back by guiding them or reminding them of something.

You really shouldn’t try and reason with anyone. It’s important to remember it’s not a time and place for taking long bouts of time to reason with the individual. It’s not about reasoning or pleading with someone to remember to rationalize anything.

Responding to Poor Decisions

Because dementia involves this deterioration of certain parts of the brain, it can affect judgement. Therefore, if your loved one or the one you are for begins to make odd or unusual behaviors, do the best you can to deal with it in a productive way.

No matter what the situation, remember to not take whatever is said or happened too personally. Sometimes individuals with dementia will say and do things to a caregiver that make you feel upset or angry. Try and remember that daily living for them is becoming harder and harder, and it’s best for you to do your best and take care of any situation as best you can.

If you want to intervene in some decision they have made or are not seeming to make, again take a calm approach and get them to tell you what’s going on and how they are feeling. Don’y always expect you will get the answer you want right away. And don’t expect that behavior will change right away. Be calm and patient. Know that the best possible thing you can do to assess and respond to any situation calmly.

Understanding When You Need Help From Others

If you are a family member dealing with your loved one’s dementia and care, you may find yourself overwhelmed. You may find yourself questioning whether some form of residential care is appropriate for your loved one. On the other hand, you may also be questioning whether care services at their home may be helpful as well. You will ultimately have to decide. But, what many seem to miss is that it doesn’t have to come down to a residential care facility or you solely taking care of your loved one. Hence, there are many home care aides that are able to and trained to be able to help with individuals with Alzheimers and dementia.

On the other hand, if you find that you just need a break, there is respite care. There is also the opportunity to become a family caregiver for formally if you find the care you provide is taking up a lot of your time or you think it will be best suited for your loved one with dementia.

If you have any questions about how Homecare Powered by AUAF can be of service, give us a call at 773.274.9262.

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