How to Manage Difficult Behaviors from a Family Member with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,413
    Kelly Scott of Emeritus Senior Living will provide strategies and tips for caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or memory loss. This video will cover the most challenging aspects of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregiving, including how to manage difficult behaviors.

    Kelly Scott: Hello, I am Kelly Scott of Emeritus Senior Living. Some of the greatest challenges of caring for loved ones with Alzheimer's or Dementia are the personality and behavior changes that often occur with these conditions. In this video I will give you some strategies to help manage these behaviors when they occur and hopefully, before they become escalated. Behaviors can very dramatically, with some individuals becoming anxious or aggressive, while others may pace, wander, address, rummage or repeatedly ask questions. It is important now that your loved one is not acting this way on purpose. The behaviors are resolved as the disease process. These changes and behavior can sometimes lead to frustration and tension, particularly between the person with Alzheimer and the caregiver. You can best meet these challenges by using creativity, flexibility, patience and compassion. It also helps to not take things personally and to try to maintain your sense of humor. These following strategies can help you understand the possible causes for the behavior. Number one, consult a physician, sometimes medication side effects, pain and even an untreated infection can cause a sudden change in behavior. Once the underlined medical problem is addressed, the behaviors may stop of decrease. Number two; find the root of the problem. People with Dementia use behavior as a way to communicate their needs. If you can figure out what they are communicating or what they need, you can often help alleviate the behavior. Going forward, here are some additional tips that can help. Live in their moment; do not try to reorient them to the present time, which can lead to increased agitation. Develop a routine. People of dementia feel safe when they know what to expect next. Try to accommodate the behavior, not control it. For example, if they insist on sleeping on the floor, place a mattress on the floor to make them more comfortable. Remember that we can change our behavior, changing our own behavior will often result in a change in our loved ones behavior. Keep in mind that the solutions that are effective one day, may need to be changed the next day, or may no longer work at all. Again, be creative and flexible. Get support from others, you are not alone. There are many people caring for someone with dementia. These strategies will help you to manage your family member's difficult behaviors and assist you in your important role as caregiver.