How To Handle Troublesome Behaviors Caused By Dementia

People who are suffering from dementia often behave in ways that are difficult for others to deal with. These are some of the most common troublesome behaviors in people who suffer from dementia and what you can do about them:

 

Prevent Wandering:

While the cause of this dementia behavior is often hard to determine, these are some of the most common reasons why people with dementia wander:

  • Boredom
  • Not spending enough time outdoors
  • Delusions

Wandering that’s caused by boredom and not spending enough time outdoors can usually be prevented with daily walks and regular activities. While wandering that is caused by delusions can be more difficult to prevent, there are steps that you can take:

  • Lock the house from the inside at night, but do it in a way that your loved one is unlikely to realize that this is the case.
  • Patients with dementia do not perceive black surfaces in the same way as healthy people, and they often view a black surface as a bottomless abyss. Therefore, placing a black rug in front of doors to the outside at night can be effective.
  • You should brighten indoor lighting to lessen symptoms of sundowning during the evening.
  • Schedule a period of reflection during the day.
  • Make sure that your loved one will never be able to have access to your car, and the best way to prevent this from happening is to hide your keys and install a battery switch that is located under the hood of your car.

If your loved one does wander off, it’s important to act fast. People with dementia can get themselves into trouble very quickly if they are unsupervised, and the best thing to do if your loved one with dementia has wandered off is to search the immediate area for 15 minutes, then call 911 and let friends and family members know that they have wandered off if you have not found them.

 

Reassure Your Loved One If They Are Experiencing Paranoid Thinking:

Luckily, there are ways that you can help to assure your loved one that they are safe. Here are some of the most effective ways to deal with paranoid thinking:

  • If they begin accusing you of something, don’t take offense.
  • Try to listen to them and be as reassuring as possible.
  • If possible, switch their focus to something other than the paranoid beliefs.
  • Keep a spare set of items that they are inclined to believe have been “stolen”.

 

Learn To Prevent Repetitive Behaviors.

Here are some ways to change problematic repetitive dementia behavior:

  • One of the best ways to stop repetitive behavior is providing your loved one with a distraction.
  • Try to limit the amount of stimulation that they are exposed to
  • Ensure the person that you are there for them.
  • Avoid talking to the person about upcoming plans, and focus on the present instead.

More Resources:
If you’re interested in more caregiving tips, visit our resource center. 

 

Categories: Care Giving Tips and Health and Wellness.

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