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7 Steps to Managing Difficult Dementia Behaviors

a senior grips their head as a caregiver looks on wondering how to manage these difficult dementia behaviors

When a loved one develops dementia, navigating the changes in their demeanor can be difficult. Though the symptoms of dementia can depend on an individual’s current health status and the stage of their condition, many of the most common symptoms of memory care recipients include mood changes, personality shifts, and abnormal behaviors.

Looking to learn more about how to cope with a parent with difficult dementia behaviors? You can learn more about our memory care services at Westminster Place by visiting us online or calling 903.329.6520.

The Challenges of Dementia

If you’re having trouble caring for your loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s due to their behavior and personality changes, you’re not alone. This condition can bring about widespread personality changes along with difficult behaviors.

7 Best Strategies for Dementia Behavior Management

Here are seven great strategies to use when it comes to managing your family member’s difficult dementia behaviors and making their care easier for everyone involved.

1. Make Them Feel Heard

Your loved one’s struggle with dementia is difficult for you, but it’s equally difficult for them to handle, if not more so. Many people with dementia will lash out because they don’t feel understood or listened to.

Make sure you prioritize making them feel heard and cared about. They may not remember what was said or done specifically, but a negative emotional impact could have a lasting effect on their well-being.

2. Consider the Potential Causes

A person with dementia’s mood shifts and behavior changes may seem unprompted, but there may be a reason your loved one is acting a certain way or having an unwanted response.

Take stock of your surroundings. Noise, lights, or a certain temperature may make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe. They also may have a need that is being unmet, like hunger or tiredness.

3. Recognize and Avoid Triggers

The more time you spend with your family member experiencing dementia, the more you’ll catch on to the factors that trigger them. For example, if your loved one tends to get stressed when people ask certain questions or their surroundings are arranged a certain way, take note of these things and do your best to change them.

4. Find Ways to Redirect Attention

In many cases, you can avoid a stressful situation with a loved one by simply redirecting their attention to something else. This could mean taking actions like:

  • Prompting them to notice something around them
  • Bringing them to a different room
  • Asking an unrelated question

These can be great solutions if your loved one is triggered by something or gets upset.

5. Take a Moment for Yourself

When a family member with dementia gets upset, it can be upsetting for their caregivers too. Remember to take a moment to breathe and regain your composure after your loved one has outbursts or exhibits uncharacteristic behavior.

Your well-being and peace of mind matter, too, and if you’re calm, you’ll be better able to help the person in your care calm down as well.

6. Learn from Each Situation

It may feel tempting to want to put each difficult situation behind you as you’re caring for a parent with dementia, but it’s important to think through what happened after the fact. This will help you to handle future situations better.

7. Get Professional Support

As you’re wondering how to cope with a parent with dementia, it’s important to recognize when you need professional assistance. If your loved one’s difficult dementia behaviors have progressed to a certain point, it’s best for all involved to enlist professional care.

Caring and Professional Strategies for Dementia Behavior Management at Westminster Place

Caring for a parent with dementia is never easy, but professional support can make all the difference. To learn more, contact us at Westminster Place by calling 903.329.6520 or browsing our services online.