Jul 17, 2012

Behaviors Are Part of Dementia

"In caring for a person with dementia, the term "behaviors" is often used to imply some negative distress exhibited and observed in the person with dementia. It can include agitation, paranoia, resistance, or even yelling and hitting." Angela Lunde, Mayo Clinic

In the latest Alzheimer's Newsletter from Mayo Clinic, Angela Lunde expresses the view -- held by behavioral psychologists -- that behavior expresses a need.  That is probably true, but the negative behaviors that accompany dementia can be very, very difficult to navigate.  And - while Lunde says the behaviors express a need, it seems to me that the behaviors are an expression of the general frustration of the changes the person with dementia is experiencing and does not understand.  Of course, we as caregivers can give reassurance and solace.  We can also set up environments to help prevent some of the problems.  But, we cannot do this alone.  It is too trying.  We either must have hired in-house help or help in placement outside the home.  It is humanly impossible to take care of all responsibilities and provide solace.  How do you find a balance?  

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