There are many challenges associated with caring for people with dementia. It’s a degenerative condition, so it gets worse as it progresses. The more and more someone diagnosed with dementia becomes affected by it, the more the behaviour they display changes. For carers, there’s no real way in which to prepare for this. Every person is different. We all have our own personalities and character traits – we’re individuals. Not everyone affected by dementia is going to display the same kinds of behaviour.
Repetitive behaviour is one of the most common types of unusual behaviour those caring for people with dementia encounter. As the carer, it’s absolutely imperative, that you maintain a good level of patience and understanding. They’re not doing it on purpose – they may simply be displaying this behaviour because they can’t remember having done something previously.
For example, it’s common for someone- affected by the illness to ask questions over and over. This mightn’t necessarily be caused by memory loss. Someone with dementia is likely to have a lot of feelings of fear, and anxiety – therefore they might be asking these questions simply for reassurance. Carers can help in these circumstances by being encouraging. Help by all means, but try to do everything you can to help them find the answer to the question. It’s something that 2can prove very helpful.
A person carrying out the same actions repeatedly could be because it’s something they’ve done in their past – a former hobby or activity. It could also be a display of boredom, at which point, you, the carer, should step in and try to engage in an activity of some kind with them. This activity could be a board game, a walk or reading a book – just something to keep them occupied.
Dealing With Difficult Situations
When caring for people with dementia, it’s common to see them behave in a way that others might consider to be uncomfortable or embarrassing. Again, patience, tact and compassion should feature heavily in any approach to dealing with this kind of behavior.
Someone affected by dementia may remove their clothes in public or walk around naked. It’s likely to embarrass, but there’s a good reason. Because of the way dementia affects the brain, they may have forgotten what clothes are, how to put them on, or why it mightn’t be considered appropriate to wear no clothing in public. When this occurs it’s important to make as little amount of fuss as possible. Try to usher them into a private place with as much trouble or fuss as possible. Ask them if they want to use bathroom – this may be why they’ve taken off their clothing.
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Other types of behavior may include suspiciousness, sleeplessness, and walking during the night. It’s important to remember that the levels of unusual behavior aren’t going to be universal. There’s a huge amount of variation from person to person. Therefore, as much preparation as you could do, managing this unusual behavior is something that you’ll probably have to get used to with time.