Assisted Living Care with Dementia Behavior Problems
Having a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s can be quite the challenge for any caregiver. Finding an assisted living facility in Alexandria VA that offers memory care will provide them with a secure setting adapted to their needs. Residents often enjoy private rooms or semi-private apartments along with structured activities provided by trained staff members that know how to care for people with memory impairment.
Knowing that you have found the ideal surroundings for your loved one is only part of the challenges you’ll face. Those suffering with mid to late stage dementia often have behavior problems. The confusion, anger, paranoia, fear, and sadness that they experience may result in aggressive or violent actions. Understanding their actions and what may be triggering such outbursts will help you maintain your relationship with a loved one as well as allow you to communicate with them more effectively.
Aggressive Speech or Actions
Statements like “I don’t want that” or “I want to go home” can escalate into aggression. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, they are not doing this on purpose. Physical or verbal aggression can be triggered by an unfamiliar situation, physical discomfort, or poor communication, but most of the time it is that they are simply afraid.
The best way to respond to their aggression begins with identifying the cause of such behavior. Ask yourself what is making them feel this way. As long as they are not putting themselves or others in danger, you can continue on by speaking in a calm voice and shifting their focus elsewhere. This is when knowing your loved one’s personality can help. For example, if they don’t like to be fussed over, it may be best to simply walk away and give them some space.
Whatever you do, you do not want to argue with them or force the issue that is at the root of their aggression. Don’t try to forcibly restrain them unless absolutely necessary, and refrain from using the word “no” when talking to them.
Confusion about Time or Place
It is very common for those living in a memory care facility to mention that they want to go home. Alzheimer’s causes damage to cognitive functions and can create confusion. Rather than actually wanting to go “home,” your loved one may simply want to go back to a place and time when they had more control over their own lives.
When they say they want to go home there are a few different ways you can react. Using photos along with a simple explanation as reminders of their situation may be all that is needed. There are times though when it could be a better idea just to redirect their focus, especially if you are in the middle of the moving process. Try not to talk about the move, and redirect their attention by taking a walk or having a snack. You know your loved one best. Say things to ease their mind even if this requires a “therapeutic lie.”
Do not give them lengthy reasons or explanations as an answer to them wanting to go home. It is impossible to reason with someone suffering from dementia. You can actually trigger aggression with further discussion of the topic.
You may discover that your loved one is making false accusations such as accusing others of stealing. They may also have trouble with their finances or simple math, and they may begin hoarding or repeating tasks and statements. The deterioration of the brain cells is the main cause of poor judgement, and it can eventually lead to untrue beliefs or delusions. Some of these behaviors are more obvious than others, but your loved one may not even realize they are having trouble.
If you suspect that they are having trouble, but aren’t sure, you can take a peek at their checkbook or bills. Look for things like unpaid bills or problems with their math that can be an indication of bad judgement issues. If you notice these types of problems developing, be reassuring and encouraging to your loved one. Minimize their embarrassment and frustration by offering to help them stay organized and on top of things. If they do realize they are having trouble, your help can be a great relief to them.
Do not question their ability to handle the situation at hand or blatantly question them on their behavior. Above all else, do not argue with them. Showing that you doubt their ability to take care of their own affairs or sounding accusatory will only anger them and make them defensive. Always take the time to look at things from their point of view in order to maintain better communication.
Contact Labier Assisted Living Today!
When you feel you can no longer provide your loved one the proper care they need contact Labier Assisted Living. We specialize in providing care for elderly with dementia or Alzheimer’s behavior problems. Contact Us Today we can help.