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How to Handle Difficult Behavior in Memory Care

memory care in lindon

Memory Care in Lindon, Utah

As your loved one ages, you see things in them you’ve never seen before, like, memory loss and difficulty managing emotions. At times they make decisions that compromise the safety of themselves and others. These behaviors sometimes have a clear trigger and sometimes no discernible reason.

Alzheimer’s or dementia behavior can take a huge emotional and physical toll on the caregiver. Learning to navigate these changes is crucial to developing endurance.

Let’s walk through a few common scenarios for caregivers. 

Frustration After Forgetting

Beginning in the early stages of dementia, a person may become angry or frustrated when forgetting something. The goal is to try to take the focus off these confusing moments.

In many cases, not correcting them is vital to avoiding frustration. Bringing attention to their forgetfulness may make them defensive and angry. Taking the emphasis off the forgetfulness minimizes the chance of an adverse reaction.

Fading Inhibitions and Poor Judgment 

When people with a cognitive impairment age, they may experience a loss of their filter. Their ability to reason and regulate emotions becomes impaired. They may make strange comments, randomly cursing anyone they can take their frustrations out on. They may be unaware of their rudeness and the uncomfortable or embarrassing situation.

Some caregivers bring along a small card noting that their loved one has a cognitive impairment. It quietly alerts others to the situation and promotes patience. Don’t shame your afflicted family member, but try gently correcting them and redirecting their attention to a new activity or topic of conversation.

Resistance to Activities of Daily Living

As needs change, your loved one may need assistance with personal health care. This area often causes stress, which can result in anger or agitation. Your loved one may refuse your assistance because they may not see their need for help. Consider presenting the task without bringing attention to their challenges.

Hands-on help may be uncomfortable when it comes to personal hygiene. Try to make the experience more pleasant. Maintain their dignity and independence by drawing attention away from their needs. 

Consider the atmosphere like temperature, smells, and music. Making the surroundings enjoyable can make a difficult situation more comfortable or familiar. 

Instructions to your loved one should be kept short and sweet. Be mindful of what they’re trying to express, as it can guide you to the most appropriate response.

Adjusting to Memory Care in Lindon

The transition to a memory care residence can cause a struggle. Your loved ones may not remember where or why they are there. Validate their concerns while giving a simple explanation. Frame it as a temporary situation, or agree with them and tell them you’ll work on bringing them home soon. 

It may bother you, not to be completely honest, but you’re meeting your loved one in their reality. Trying to argue and rationalize causes frustration for both parties. 

It’s essential to remember that you’re not trying to get your loved one to remember something permanently but simply offering comfort and reassurance at the moment.

Prevent Triggers

Your loved one may exhibit outbursts without any triggers. Journaling their anger, agitation, and other challenging symptoms can help identify their triggers.

Journal what happened leading up to the outburst and record what strategy successfully de-escalates the symptoms. New methods can help deal with the situation, but avoiding the trigger in the first place can keep the problem from developing.

If avoidance is not possible, validate their feelings by providing a simple solution; and redirect them to a more pleasant activity.

Don’t Take It Personally. 

Personality changes can be upsetting and emotional to deal with as the caregiver. It’s never easy to provide a high level of care for someone who may not notice or appreciate it.

Remember that symptoms vary from one person to the next. Something that works one day may not work the next. Your loved one doesn’t control their symptoms, and what they say in a painful moment is not personal. 

Have patience with yourself. Giving them some space will help both of you to reset. Remind yourself of everything you love about this person you’re caring for. Those warm thoughts can help carry you through the most challenging times.

Visit our Memory Care in Lindon, Utah

Spring Gardens Senior Living in Lindon provides assisted living care plans and memory care programs for your loved ones. Our assisted living community and specially trained staff are dedicated to providing only the highest quality of life for every resident. Visit us today.

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