Dementia and Difficult Behavior

When you think of dementia you typically think of memory loss first. What many are not prepared for is how other behaviors can change too. In many cases, it is these difficult behaviors that families report as more troublesome than memory loss.

What is difficult dementia behavior? Difficult behavior includes actions that are destructive, highly upsetting, or unsafe for themselves or others. Difficult behavior does not include behavior that seems unusual or bothersome, such as asking questions repeatedly or preferring particular foods, clothing or routines.

As friends and family, it’s important to change our attitudes, behavior, and habits to prevent and even reduce any difficult behavior. Start with these valuable tips:

Focus on your nonverbal communication.
Make yourself aware of your facial expressions, posture, and tone of voice. People with dementia will reflect your nonverbal communication. Make sure the nonverbal communication you bring into the room matches what you want to see in them.

Model positive emotions.
Put aside strong feelings that may distract or trouble you. People with dementia generally understand your emotions.

Keep it simple.
Provide clear instructions and ask yes/no questions. Limit options to two choices.

Pay attention to body language.
It will provide clues about your loved one’s emotional state what they need. Respond before difficult behavior begins to ultimately evade any difficult behavior.

Avoid even small arguments.
Adding conflict to the situation only makes things worse. Do not argue, correct or try to convince using facts and logic.

Caring for someone with dementia can be tiring, stressful, and confusing without the right help and knowledge. Consider getting extra aid from our compassionate caregivers at the Orchard, we offer excellent dementia care services that can help reduce and prevent difficult behavior. Contact us here for more information and schedule a tour of our assisted living community in Tucker, Georgia!