February 01, 2022

Handling Alzheimer’s Behavior

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If you’re a primary caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, you know that patients can go through a roller coaster of emotions.

In addition to the degenerative disease, those dealing with dementia can act out on impulses due to over-stimulation, physical discomfort, lack of sleep, changes in routine, and medication side effects.

It can be difficult to know what is causing the problem, but experts say that you should focus on redirecting these emotions to help your loved one stay calm and get through the difficult time.

Centers Health Care has four strategies for caregivers and loved ones to deal with difficult behavior from those suffering with Alzheimer’s.

  1. Remain Calm

In order to try and get your loved one to stay calm, it’s imperative that you remain calm as well. Remember that the difficult behavior isn’t personal to you, as it’s a common symptom of dementia. Arguing or trying to reason with someone in this state is likely to only make things worse.

  1. Stay on Schedule

Creating a schedule or a routine is likely to limit outbursts related to confusion or anxiety. Having meals, doing activities, and performing other tasks in the same order each day will add a sense of calm and familiarity to someone battling dementia.

  1. Stay Active

Keeping the mind and body as busy as possible through activities can help distract a patient from having outbursts or being overwhelmed by confusion. Something as simple as listening to music that your loved one enjoys or folding laundry is enough of a task to stay occupied. You may also take walks and do other appropriate exercise.

  1. Watch Your Tone and Non-Verbal Cues

Speaking in a friendly way and making eye contact can sooth a dementia patient and help make a situation seem normal or manageable. Much like the first point, if you sound or act frustrated even without outwardly showing it, that vibe can be conveyed to the one you’re caring for.

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