Tips on Dealing with Dementia Behaviors
A. Striped wallpaper or vertical blinds can lead people to feel incarcerated- and plan escapes!
B. Mirrors or photographs can lead to paranoid behaviors and increased hoarding behaviors.
C. Wandering behaviors can be a result of:
- Needing to use the toilet
- Bothered by noise
- Needing exercise
- Wanting fresh air
D. Removing clothing can be a problem of discomfort or temperature control. Help the person dress in soft comfortable clothing that offers dignity.
E. Many cognitively impaired patients perceive dark colors on the floor as holes and will try to avoid them or jump over them.
F. A window in the door (real or fake) pacifies many patients that try to go out that door because it enables them to see what’s out there. Sometimes a stop sign prominently displayed will turn an impaired person around.
G. Using cabinets that don’t have handles will minimize rummaging in them.
H. Don’t try to force patients to use appliances (such as glasses, hearing aids, and dentures) that they don’t seem to understand anymore. They are likely to take them off and throw them away. Present them only when needed.
I. Using soft lighting, soothing music, and inviting smells can decrease agitation behaviors.
J. Have lots of seating options available for the constant wanderer.
K. Be sure your loved one is wearing good supporting footwear (vs. slippers or sandals)
L. Remember- people with dementia have lost their logic and reasoning abilities. Arguing and reasoning with them is a waste of time. Making them feel comfortable and safe will usually decrease agitation and combativeness. If your loved one is demonstrating unpredictable, violent behaviors, seek professional help.