Disbelief. Shame. Awkwardness. Discomfort. Every one of these feelings can cycle through the heart of those providing care for dementia patients who demonstrate disinhibited behaviors, such as:
- Rude or tactless comments
- Unacceptable sexual remarks or advances
- Removal of clothing at inappropriate times
- And other socially unacceptable actions
The complicated changes that occur to the brain in dementia can result in a complete turnaround in a senior’s personality and behaviors, such as a formerly genteel grandpa unexpectedly swearing like a sailor. For someone who is disoriented, uncomfortable, confused, or has essentially forgotten social graces and skills, these behaviors are actually quite common; therefore, it’s important to understand how to best manage them should they arise in someone you love.
Stay Home Care’s dementia caregivers highly recommend trying the following tactics :
- See if there’s a solvable problem evoking the behaviors, such as a physical illness, medication complications, the need to use the rest room, environment-induced anxiety, etc.
- Remind yourself that the Alzheimer’s is to blame, and respond gently and patiently, without overreacting or lashing out in anger.
- Help the senior loved one continue to be involved in appropriate activities based on his or her specific interests. In the event that the person becomes agitated with a specific activity, change to something different, or move to another room in the house or outside whenever possible.
- Pay attention to clothing choices, if removing clothes at inappropriate times is an issue. If the senior happens to be wearing pants without zippers for convenience, you might change to something a bit more difficult to take off when out in public, for example.
- Be sure that each of the person’s physical needs are met to circumvent problematic behaviors. Maintain a comfortable temperature in the home, keep plenty of healthy snacks and drinks handy, and recommend regular physical exercise and movement.
- Offer appropriate physical contact frequently in the form of hugs, holding the person’s hand, or rubbing his/her back, when welcomed by the senior, communicating reassurance to alleviate anxiety.
It’s also important to make certain you have sufficient time for scheduled breaks to tend to your own personal self-care needs and lessen the stress that is commonly inherent in looking after someone with Alzheimer’s disease.
Stay Home Care, a top provider of home care in Goodlettsville, TN and surrounding areas, is pleased to offer caregivers who are highly trained and experienced in effective, compassionate dementia care, and we’re here for you with as much or as little respite care as needed. Contact us at 615-964-7726 for additional helpful resources or to schedule a free assessment in the comfort of home for more information about how we can help.