A Caregiver’s Guide to Understanding Dementia Behaviors

A Caregiver's Guide to Understanding Dementia Behaviors

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Caring for patients with dementia can be daunting, especially with common issues and behavioral changes that a caregiver may encounter. For instance, a person with dementia may become aggressive or agitated, or they may wander around and get lost in confusion. However, having the knowledge of the things that’ll be able to fulfill their needs might make it easier both for the patient and the caregiver. Dementia treatment at home

Here is an outline of how to deal with the common troubling behaviors of people with dementia.

6 Caregiving Tips for Dementia Patients

Below are the tips that can be used by caregivers to deal with common dementia behaviors:

1. Memory loss and confusion

As dementia progresses, memory loss and confusion become more and more common. A senior asking too detailed and repetitive questions, unable to recognize formerly familiar people or places, or becoming disoriented are among the indications of memory loss and confusion. According to experts, simplification of their surroundings and your interactions with them will make it easier.

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A Caregiver's Guide to Understanding Dementia Behaviors
Memory loss and confusion

For instance, keeping familiar objects around them will help reorient the dementia patient. For communication, deliberately use simple and precise sentences. It’ll also help to normalize their experience by saying “You’re confused and it is okay. We’ll figure this out.” Ask questions that are answerable by yes or no. Say, “Are you looking for your coffee mug?”

2. Agitation

Among the extreme behaviors of having dementia are physical aggression and agitation. This behavior usually stems from confusion, physical and emotional pains, fear, or reaction to medications. One study found that more than a third of caregivers experienced abuse from their patients with dementia.

A Caregiver's Guide to Understanding Dementia Behaviors (2)
Say something like “You’ll never be alone. I’m here for you.”, or any soothing words to calm them.

The most important thing to handle aggressive behavior is not to take it personally, according to senior care experts. If the agitation stems from disorientation, reorient the patient to their environment or redirect toward a familiar object, especially those that give them comfort. Most importantly, reassure the aggressive patient that they’re not alone in that difficult moment. Say something like “You’ll never be alone. I’m here for you.”, or any soothing words to calm them.

3. Restlessness

This is frustrating to people suffering from dementia. To deal with restlessness and sleeplessness, a caregiver should ramp up day activities and gradually reduce them as bedtime approaches. Dementia treatment at home

It is crucial to condition the mind of a dementia patient on rest time. Caregivers could also reduce, if not completely remove certain stimulants like coffee and sweets. If this condition worsens, seek medical prescriptions which will help the restlessness.

4. Diet and nutrition

Dementia patients often tend to forget to eat or drink anything. Ensuring that the dementia patients are eating enough nutritious foods and intaking enough fluids may be a challenge. But note that nutrition is an essential requirement when caring for people with dementia. Dementia treatment at home

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Dementia treatment at home
Start a daily routine for the time and place where your patient will be taking its meal.

Start a daily routine for the time and place where your patient will be taking their meal. Make mealtimes a special one by adding some flowers or soft music and removing distractions. If chewing or swallowing are issues, serve soft foods that are rich in calories. You may consult a dietitian if the problem’s weight loss or weight gain.

5. Paranoia

Same as aggression, don’t take it personally when witnessing a dementia patient becoming suspicious, jealous, or accusatory. It may be unsettling but what they experience is very real to them. For instance, if the person suspects their belonging is “missing”, help them look for it while distracting them into another activity. Make extra efforts to explain to other family members that those suspicious accusations are part of the dementing illness. Lastly, avoid arguing.

6. Wandering Dementia treatment at home

This is a common behavior for people with dementia. According to a study, sixty percent of dementia patients wander. This stems from memory loss that should be dealt with with close monitoring. Wandering can be dangerous and even life-threatening especially when the patient will be left disorientated and lost. Deme

A Caregiver's Guide to Understanding Dementia Behaviors (4)
By keeping your dementia patient safe, secure all doors that lead outside.

By keeping your dementia patient safe, secure all doors that lead outside. The use of tracking devices and surveillance systems that are affordable can also help to closely monitor the patient.

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Seek a Support System

With the many challenges in dealing with dementia sufferers, it is important to remember that these behaviors can be managed. Follow our 6 tips to effectively handle and care for dementia patients.

BestPlace4Seniors provides services from consultations to making the right and relevant senior living arrangements for your loved ones. If your loved one is suffering from dementia, we can provide them with the care that they need.

Contact us today!

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