Written by: Jenna Floberg, NHA, Assistant Administrator at St. Francis Home
Approximately 5.2 million American’s have Alzheimer’s disease or some form of dementia. Many times, the burden of caring for these people falls on the shoulders of a family member or loved one. This can prove to be a very difficult task, especially if we don’t understand the reasoning for their behaviors. People with dementia often exhibit behaviors that are frustrating, embarrassing, and sometimes even dangerous to the caregiver and others. You can best meet the challenges of managing the personality and behavioral changes that often occur in individuals with dementia by using creativity, flexibility, patience and compassion. It also helps to not take things personally and maintain your sense of humor!
Consider these tips:
- We cannot change the person. Try to accommodate the behavior, not control the behavior.
- Remember that we can change our behavior or the physical environment.
- Check with a doctor to see if there are underlying medical reasons.
- Behavior most often has a purpose. What is the person really trying to do or tell us?
- Behavior is often triggered. Try a different approach or try a different consequence.
- What works today, may not work tomorrow.
- Get support from others.