Tips for reducing dementia-related behavior (anger, etc)

This post may be of interest to those dealing with dementia-related behavior.

Friend of BSN’s, social worker Ann Blick Hamer, forwarded me this useful article today.  The topic is dementia-related behaviors, which includes anger, swearing, or aggressive outbursts.  The author suggests:

“As hard as it may be, remind yourself that the cursing or anger that might appear to be directed at you is really a symptom of the disease. Not only may it help you feel a little better when a challenging behavior occurs, but it can help safeguard the relationship between you and the person in your care.”

The author offers three tips to reducing dementia-related behaviors:

1. Get out your detective’s hat and looking glass

You don’t need to become a private investigator, but it helps to know that a great number of challenging behaviors are caused by an unmet physical or emotional need.

2. Approach & Connect – the Right Way

[Did] you know that with dementia, a person’s visual field shrinks to the size of binoculars by mid-stage? In late stage dementia it even reduces to monocular vision.

[Always] approach from the front so they can see you first.

3. Use the Environment to Your Advantage

Paying attention to settings, sounds, sights, lighting, or even smells can greatly impact your care outcomes.

Here’s a link to the article:

3 Essential Tips to Reducing Challenging Behaviors in Dementia Care
Pines of Sarasota Education & Training Institute
02 August 2016

Note that the online version has a link to a list of the top ten “unmet needs” of those with dementia.  These “unmet needs” include physical needs (such as hunger, thirst, tired, temperature, pain) and emotional needs (such as anger, sadness, loneliness, and being scared).