Dealing with Dementia Behaviors [How To Fix]
Before dealing with dementia, you need to first understand what dementia is. “Dementia is a syndrome characterized by impairment in memory, cognitive function, behaviors, learning ability, comprehension, calculation, language, and judgment.” The impairment in cognitive function can cause deterioration in emotional control, social behavior, or even motivation.
Dementia is one of the major causes of disablement and dependence among older people worldwide. Therefore dealing with dementia can be overwhelming, not only for the people who suffer from it, but also for their carers and families. There is often misinterpretation about dementia, resulting in branding and barriers to diagnosis and care.
Types of Dementia
To deal with dementia behaviors, you have to understand the cause of those behaviors, and there are different types of dementia:
- Alzheimer’s disease – Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. And people that suffer from this disease tend to have plaques and tangles in their brains.
- Vascular dementia – this is the second most common type of dementia characterized by damage to the vessel that supply blood to the brain.
- Lewy body dementia – Lewy bodies are abnormal ballon-like clumps of protein found in the brain of patients that have the disease.
- Frontotemporal dementia – this disease is characterized by degeneration of nerve cells and their connections in the frontal and temporal lobe of the brain.
- Mixed dementia – as the name implies, it is simply the combination of several causes such as Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and Lewy body dementia.
Don’t Miss: Full Description On Types Of Dementia
However, if an individual is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or any other form of dementia, they will definitely go through a series of behavioral changes. Therefore, dealing with these dementia behaviors requires a lot of attention, energy, and sacrifice — patient that is suffering from dementia may become violent and offensive, both physically and verbally.
In dealing with dementia behavior, you must know that dementia affects each person differently; depending upon the severity of the disease and the person’s personality before becoming ill. However, you have to understand that dementia patients are not pleased with the way they act. It’s just the hapless side effect of the disease that is so frustrating to deal with.
Therefore, if you have a solid understanding of dementia, dealing with dementia behaviors will become less frustrating; because you will be well prepared and equipped to handle any behavior the patient exhibit. You will also be less likely to worry or provoke with some of these behaviors. Having known all these, here are some common dementia behavior and how you can deal with them.
Previous Post: What Can Cause Alzheimer’s Disease?
Common Dementia Behaviors and How to Deal with It
1. Aggressive Behavior
This type of behavior is very common among dementia patients, dealing with this dementia behavior requires patience. Most times, this behavior verbal, revealing itself in a statement like “I want to go home!” This can obviously lead to a physical violence, which may seem so frustrating to us because the statement may seemingly come from nowhere.
However, we must admit that there is a cause for the behavior; the patient might not be pleased with the environment or feeling physical discomfort, but are unable to let it known to you either because they are weak, thirsty, or hungry.
How to Deal with Aggressive Behavior
To deal with aggressive behavior; firstly, you have to figure out the cause. Some patients may give you a clue about what they want by telling you. But for others, it may be the opposite. Try to identify what happened as soon as possible before the outburst, as patients may act by the cause.
Having known the cause, it will be very easy for you to remove or at least modify it to lessen the stressors or rule out any discomfort they may be experiencing.
2. Confusion About Place or Time
Dementia causes impairment in memory, which may cause disorientation. If you are taking care of dementia patients in a facility, don’t be surprised if they ask you repeated questions about where they are, or even demand to go home.
All these are symptoms of dementia, therefore, the patient may become so confused and disoriented. Dealing with this dementia behavior also requires patience.
How to Deal with Confusion or Disorientation
In the case of confusion, dealing with dementia patients is a bit cheeky; because you can’t reason smoothly with a dementia patient. So, the most effective way is to say a few words, especially in cases where they were referred to a primary care facility. You can adopt “therapeutic lies” if that is going to make the patient feel calm and safe.
In the case of loved ones that are receiving treatments or being monitored at home, you can show them photos or any objects that are special to them before they became ill. This will serve as a reminder, also tend to calm them down.
3. Poor Judgments
To deal with dementia behavior, you also need to understand that these behaviors are not exhibited purposefully. Some examples of poor judgment dementia patients may likely exhibit include wild accusations, trouble with finances and math, hoarding, and repetition of statements. All the above-mentioned symptoms are results of impairment of nerves in the brain.
Also, note that these types of behaviors are not always obvious in the early stage of dementia and may go unperceived. It is therefore important to keep a close watch on any behavioral changes, especially when the disease is at its early stages.
How to Deal with Poor Judgements
To deal with this dementia behavior, you have to keep an eye on your loved ones. Let’s take trouble with finances and math as an example. You can keep an eye on your loved ones as they want to calculate a tip in a restaurant, If they are tardy or can’t calculate an appropriate tip, then they might be suffering from poor judgment.
But when this happens, encourage them, and never make them feel any more embarrassment than they already do. Try to assist them, and they will surely appreciate it.
Dementia can be characterized by many symptoms, therefore dealing with dementia behavior requires you to have a full understanding of the disease, and the symptoms they exhibit to know the exact measures in dealing with them.
Noticed Signs When Dealing With Dementia Behaviour
Different types of dementia cause different symptoms among patients suffering from this disease, and of course, dementia patients exhibit different behaviors including aggressiveness, hoarding, inability to calculate, repetition of statements, and so on. Dealing with these behaviors therefore requires patience, love, care, and attention.
While helping your loved ones in dealing with dementia, always have it in mind that these behaviors they exhibit are not deliberately, instead they are controlled by this disease — the disease causes impairment in the brain, and the brain controls the body. Although, they will be conscious of themselves, but not acting the way they want.
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