Six Strategies for Dealing with Dementia-Related Behavior Changes
If you or someone you know is living with dementia, chances are there have been some unexpected behavioral patterns that emerged as a result of the illness. It is highly common for dementia patients to exhibit behavior changes in the areas of anger, sadness, irritability, and often even with the emergence of violent reactions.
While dementia counseling is a great support for someone experiencing dementia, as well as for the caregivers in their life, there are also some daily changes that can be implemented to help minimize the impacts of these new behavioral patterns.
Tactics for Coping with Dementia-Related Behavior Changes
1. Proper nutrition and exercise go a long way in helping to ensure someone dealing with dementia is keeping healthy and getting exercise-induced serotonin into their body. Additionally, it allows the person to both engage their mind and focus on something physical and tactile.
2. Daily routines will also go a long way in helping a person dealing with dementia develop the confidence they need to navigate their own world. Routine changes can often unsettle someone dealing with dementia, so it’s incredibly important to stick with the familiar as much as possible.
3. Working to simplify daily tasks is also a great strategy. Too many options can often be overwhelming- for example choosing an outfit from an entire closet of clothes. In circumstances like this, presenting one or two options in the morning is a great way for your loved one to still maintain the autonomy of choice without becoming overwhelmed.
4. Staying calm is an important strategy for supporting someone with dementia. If you feel yourself becoming emotional as a response to the behavior of your loved one, do your best to take a moment to calm down. Reacting with crying or anger will often only exacerbate the behavior and add more stress to an already overwhelmed person dealing with dementia.
5. Make sure to validate as opposed to challenge the person living with dementia. Telling them that they are wrong or imagining things will not help the situation, but confuse and overwhelm your loved one instead. Do your best to validate what they are seeing and feeling without outright lying to them.
6. Make sure to consistently affirm that your loved one is safe and not alone. Dementia can often bring forward feelings of paranoia, so do your best to make the environment comfortable through displaying meaningful objects and photos, and always remember to affirm that they are surrounded by people who care for them.
We Provide Dementia counseling & Much More
For more strategies to support a loved one living with dementia, get in touch with our team at ACT Teletherapy and give dementia counseling a try. Our expert mental health professionals will work with you to support you during this challenging time and give you the tools you need to help support your loved one living with dementia.