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What Can I Do About This Behavior? - The Difficult Symptoms of Alzheimer's

Posted by on 3/5/2016 to Communication Tips
'Behaviors' is a term you may have heard that refers to the difficult symptoms that can come with Alzheimer's or other form of dementia such as wandering, yelling, crying, agitation.  True, these are behaviors, as the definition of behavior is " the actions or reactions of a person or animal in response to external or internal stimuli". But we miss the boat if we focus on the "action" part of the definition and not the "in response to an external or internal stimuli" part of the definition.

Behaviors are a Message from the Person with Dementia

A behavior is a message, a reaction, or a response to something. Therefore, there is no easy "if this happens, then do that" solution. To figure out what is happening, the caregiver will need to investigate and research to look for what the external or internal stimuli - or trigger - is for that particular behavior. When the root cause(s) for the behavior is uncovered, then you can look to what changes might be made to change that trigger.

See the MindStart Behavior Solutions Value Kit for to for a Comprehensive Way to Address Dementia-Related Behaviors

The short video below from BupaUK gives a great explanation of what dementia caregivers can do to assess and address behaviors, which includes:
  • Ask "what need is not being met?"
  • Ask "what is the trigger?"
  • Ask "what is their life story?"
  • Be a researcher and be creative

Monica is an occupational therapist with nearly 20 years of dementia care experience.  She offers easy to understand explanations of the process of Alzheimer's or other dementia and gives practical, useful tips that can help both the person with the disease and the caregivers.

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Date: 3/19/2016
This is such valuable advice. Namaste

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