Alzheimer’s Disease – Managing Difficult Behaviors at Home
Alzheimer’s disease can cause a person to act in different and unpredictable ways. Some people with Alzheimer’s become anxious or aggressive. Others repeat certain questions or gestures. Many misinterpret what they hear.
These types of reactions can lead to is understanding, frustration and tension, particularly between the person with dementia and the caregiver. It is important to understand that the person is not acting that way on purpose.
Behavior may be related to:
- Physical discomfort
- Illnesses or medication
- Loud noises or a busy environment
- Unfamiliar surroundings
- New places or the inability to recognize home
- Complicated tasks
- Difficulty with activities or chores
- Frustrating interactions
- Inability to communicate effectively
Use this three-step approach to help identify common behaviors and their causes:
1. Examine the behavior
- What was the behavior? Was it harmful to the individual or others?
- What happened just before the behavior occurred? Did something trigger it?
- What happened immediately after the behavior occurred? How did you react?
- Could something be causing the person pain?
- Consult a physician to identify any causes related to medications or illness.
2. Explore potential solutions
- What are the needs of the person with dementia?
- Are they being met?
- Can adapting the surroundings comfort the person?
- How can you change your reaction or your approach to the behavior? Are you responding in a calm and supportive way?
3. Try different responses
- Did your new response help?
- Do you need to explore other potential causes and solutions? If so, what can you do differently?
Source: Alzheimer’s Association