When your loved one suffers from dementia, you will do anything to get them the quality care they need. What many people do not realize is that quality dementia care starts right at home. The best thing you can do for your loved one is to understand the common behaviors of dementia and respond appropriately. We have created an outline of common dementia behaviors and how they present themselves.
Common Behaviors Of Dementia
While no two dementia cases look the same, a common set of behaviors typically presents itself through this condition. Below are the four most common behaviors.
Characteristics associated with confusion include an inability to recognize people, repeating questions, or not recognizing the environment The best way to respond to these behaviors is to acknowledge their confusion and be patient. While it doesn’t make sense to you, the confusion your loved one experiences is very real to them. Encourage healthy routines such as serving meals at the same time each day, and labeling frequently used items such as toothpaste.
Aggression is probably the most frustrating, confusing dementia behavior to respond to because the person you’re trying so hard to help is acting aggressively toward you. While any person with dementia can become aggressive, it’s more common in the later stages of the disease.
Common Triggers Of Aggression Include:
- Physical Pain
- Emotional Pain
The most effective thing to remember when your loved one becomes aggressive is that it’s the dementia talking, not the person you know and love. So try your best not to take it personally, as hard as that can be. Other ways you can respond is by calming them down with reassuring words and presenting familiar objects to them.
3. Sleep Issues
Restlessness is another common behavior that dementia patients experience. They might have trouble falling or staying asleep, or they might not realize when it’s time to go to bed in the evening. Anything from diet to an adverse reaction to medications can cause strange behaviors and insomnia.
Implement the Following Strategies to Encourage Better Sleeping Habits:
- Limit sugar, alcohol, and caffeine in the evenings
- Remove electronics from the sleeping environment
- Keep a strict bedtime
One dementia behavior that causes caregivers a lot of concern is wandering. Patients can easily become lost and not know how to get help. As hard as it might be to implement some of the following precautionary measures, they’ll help keep your loved one safe.
Ways to Protect a Loved One With Wandering Issues:
- Keep all doors closed and locked
- Use tracking and/or surveillance system
- Ask neighbors to keep an eye out for your loved one in case they wander
Ways To Handle Poor Behavior Caused by Dementia
Keep in mind that people with dementia don’t behave the way they do on purpose; they suffer from a disease that alters how they think and understand their environments. This is why knowing how to respond appropriately is essential to providing your loved one with the dementia care they need.
We have created a list of the best ways to respond to bad behavior caused by dementia.
1. Do Not Try to Change the Person
Instead, accommodate their behavior as best you can. Sometimes altering your behavior can encourage positive behavior changes in your loved one. Live their reality instead of trying to bring them to our reality.
2. Talk With a Doctor
Check with a doctor to see if an underlying problem is causing behavior changes. You might be able to introduce medication or another treatment that will help.
3. Understand the “Why”
Every behavior of dementia your loved one presents fulfills some internal need they have. Talk with your family member to obtain an understanding of why they do what they do. What’s important is that you respond with patience and accommodate them when possible.
4. Know Triggers
If you know what triggers certain behaviors in your loved one with dementia, try removing those things from their environment when possible. Whether it’s objects or another person’s action, try changing the environment based on the trigger.
5. Understand When Strategies Work
Sometimes you find a strategy that works great one day but fails the next. This is normal. As the disease progresses, you will need to alter your care approach to respond to common behaviors of dementia. Expect to remain flexible throughout the process because every day is different.
6. Get Help From Others
The most important thing to remember while caring for your loved one with dementia is that you’re never alone. You always have doctors, care services, neighbors, friends, and family who are willing and ready to help. Surround yourself with a community of people who can be there on the good days as well as the bad days.
Dementia Care Services & Community
When your loved one is diagnosed with dementia, you want to find the best possible care for them. The staff at Terra Vista offers exceptional support. The staff at our dementia care assisted living facility in Oakbrook Terrace, IL are committed to offering innovative care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. By implementing a resident-centered approach, our staff is fully equipped to provide the dementia care services that your loved one needs and deserves. From diet to sleeping habits, we walk with your loved one every step of the way to make them feel right at home. Call our staff today to learn more about our memory care services, amenities, apartments, and community.