As dementia progresses, it may bring certain behavioral changes and problems. Someone with dementia may experience confusion, anger, paranoia, sadness, and fear often resulting in aggressive actions. At Nest & Care, an experienced provider of in-home care in Montgomery County, MD, we want to help you learn the useful strategies that can help you effectively manage some common behavioral problems in someone with dementia.
Situation #1: Confusion About Time or Place
People with dementia may become disoriented and lost. They may forget what time of day it is, and they may forget what they are doing at a specific place. When this happens, it is important for you to be patient and to reassure them that they are in a safe place. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts:
Be patient. Answer their questions as succinctly as possible. For instance, if they are asking what they are doing in a specific place, give a short, concise answer. If they are still feeling lost, try to show them a picture of them in that place. This will give them the assurance that they are indeed somewhere familiar and not in a strange environment. Do everything that you can to make them feel safe.
Avoid lengthy explanations. People with dementia often lose track of conversations so it is important to communicate with them in a short, understandable way.
Situation #2: Aggressive Speech and/or Actions
As mentioned, someone with dementia may experience confusion, anger, paranoia, sadness, and fear often resulting in aggressive actions and/or speech. Simple refusals such as not wanting to do something (i.e. “I don’t want to take a shower!”) may escalate into aggression if not handled correctly. However, please note that your loved one is not doing this on purpose. Their aggression is typically triggered by discomfort, poor communication, or something else. In such situations, here are some things that you should and shouldn’t do:
The first thing that you should do is to identify the cause of their aggression. For instance, some dementia patients don’t like to be coddled. Doing so might make them feel more agitated, thus, making them lash out at whoever is fussing over them. Some patients don’t like to be touched and doing so might result in them taking a swing at whoever is touching them. In cases like this, it may be more beneficial to walk away and give them space. This is where knowing your loved one is important. Be observant. Take note of their likes and dislikes and respect their boundaries.
Don’t argue with them. Moreover, don’t force them to do something that they are uncomfortable with. As mentioned, some dementia patients don’t like to be touched so no matter how much you may want to hold or hug them, you have to respect their boundaries.
Caring for someone with dementia is not always easy. It can be physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding. So, if you need professional home care services in Silver Spring, Maryland, please know that you can always count on Nest & Care.