Wednesday, May 24

How to deal with dementia behaviour

Dementia presents numerous difficulties to those who are close to those who are suffering from it. Common behaviours that result from conditions like Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, or frontotemporal dementia can be challenging to observe and deal with.

Caregiving for a person with dementia can occasionally be frustrating, challenging, or upsetting. The way forward can be made easier by understanding why specific behaviours take place and learning effective ways to deal with a range of circumstances.

What actions are typical of those who suffer from dementia?
People who have dementia frequently display a variety of odd behaviours, including:

  • saying strange things or describing certain things incorrectly.
  • forgetting to take a bath or not realising the importance of maintaining good hygiene.
  • asking the same question repeatedly or repeating themselves.
  • stealing or misplacing items from others.
  • neither remembering nor recognising who they are.
  • the conviction that a loved one who has passed away is still alive.
  • hoarding things like mail or even trash.
  • displaying paranoid tendencies.
  • being easily agitated or confused.
  • Without informing you, I left the house and got lost.

Why do these actions take place?
Imagine a wildfire changing its course inside the brain of a loved one who has dementia, harming or obliterating the brain cells (neurons) and neural networks that control our behaviour.

The underlying cause(s) of dementia will determine what causes this damage. For instance, although the precise cause of Alzheimer's disease is unknown, proteins that either clog up or strangle brain cells are thought to play a significant role in the disease. Neurons die as a result of intermittently inadequate blood flow to specific brain regions in a person with vascular dementia.

"As dementia worsens, the person starts to lose brain cells that are involved in memory, planning, judgement, and mood regulation. Your filters are lost.

Six coping mechanisms for dementia-related behaviours

Dealing with distressing or perplexing dementia-related behaviour may call for a different approach than you would use with a child. "Older people with dementia sometimes appear like children due to declines.

Don't call attention to inexplicable or incorrect statements. "It might cause dementia sufferers to feel foolish or inferior. Although they might not recall specifics, they tend to hold onto their feelings, feel alone, and withdraw. Instead, make them comfortable. Just follow their instructions.

Don't make an effort to persuade the person. The understanding of your loved one has been harmed by dementia. It might be frustrating for both of you to try to reason.

Distract yourself. When the person makes unreasonable demands or becomes mildly agitated, this is helpful. "Recognise what the other person is saying and alter your course. I can see that you're upset, so I'll say that. Let's take a moment to go over here. After that, engage in a relaxing activity that engages the senses, such as folding socks, sitting outside together, or eating some fruit,.

Keep dangerous items hidden from view. Things a loved one shouldn't have, especially those that could be dangerous, like car keys or cleaning supplies, should be stored or locked away. Think about putting cabinet locks in.

Control hygiene practises. The individual with dementia might require a gentle reminder to take a shower or for the day's clothes to be laid out on the bed. Or perhaps you'll need to help with dressing, brushing teeth, shaving, or bathing.

Together, spend some time. You don't need to hold an interesting conversation with your loved one or persuade them of your identity. Simply enjoy some music together or engage in some easy activities. It will prevent them from withdrawing even more.

Nobody expects you to understand how to communicate with someone who has dementia. Even after you get a sense of the situation, there is still a learning curve for all of us.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used to replace direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained practitioner.
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