Tips to Solve Inappropriate Alzheimer’s Behaviors
Disbelief. Shame. Awkwardness. Discomfort. Many of these types of feelings can cycle through a family caregiver’s heart when a loved one with dementia displays disinhibited behaviors, such as:
- Rude or tactless comments
- Inappropriate sexual advances or remarks
- Removal of clothing at improper times
- And other socially unacceptable actions
The complicated changes that occur to the brain in Alzheimer’s disease may cause a complete turnaround in an older adult’s personality and behaviors, such as a formerly genteel grandma suddenly swearing like a sailor. For an individual who is confused, uncomfortable, disoriented, or has simply forgotten social skills and graces, these behaviors are actually quite common, so it’s crucial to learn how to specifically manage them should they arise in someone you love.
Hired Hands Homecare’s Alzheimer’s care experts suggest trying the following tactics to help combat inappropriate behaviors:
- See if there’s a solvable problem creating the behaviors, such as a physical illness, medication complications, the need to utilize the rest room, environment-induced anxiety, etc.
- Remind yourself that the dementia is to blame, and respond gently and patiently, without overreacting or lashing out in anger.
- Help the older adult continue to be involved in appropriate activities according to his/her individual interests. If the person becomes agitated with a particular activity, switch to something different, or move to a new room in your home or outdoors 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 ease and comfort, you might want to change to something a bit more challenging to remove when out in public, for example.
- Be sure that all of the person’s physical needs are met to avoid problematic behaviors. Maintain a comfortable temperature in your house, keep a number of healthy snacks and drinks handy, and encourage regular physical exercise and movement.
- Provide appropriate physical contact often in the form of hugs, holding the person’s hand, or rubbing his/her back, when welcomed by the senior, communicating reassurance to relieve anxiety.
It is also important to ensure you have sufficient time for scheduled breaks to tend to your self-care needs and relieve the stress that is commonly inherent in looking after a senior with dementia. Hired Hands Homecare’s caregivers are highly trained and experienced in effective, compassionate Alzheimer’s care, and are here for you with as much or as little respite care as necessary. Contact us at (866) 940-4343 to schedule a free in-home consultation and for additional details about our trusted senior home care in Santa Rosa, CA and the surrounding communities.