If you have a loved one with dementia, it’s important to know how to handle any challenges you may face when socializing with or caring for them. Here is some great advice from assisted living specialists in New Jersey.
How to manage aggression in dementia patients
It’s common for caregivers and loved ones to be confronted by aggression – verbally or physically – when assisting someone with dementia. While often an upsetting and frustrating experience, it’s important to understand why this behavior is occurring in order to handle it properly.
Key to this, is discovering what triggers the outbursts. The most common triggers include unfamiliar surroundings, physical discomfort and fear. So what should you do and what actions should you avoid?
DO: Try to identify what is at the root of the behavior and find a way to remedy the situation, keeping in mind that different things work for different people. For some people, talking calmly and gently touching them, helps to soothe – for others, it increases aggression. Another course of action is to ensure that they aren’t in harm’s way and simply walk away and give them the chance to calm themselves.
DON’T: Under no circumstances should you become confrontational or try and force your loved one to do whatever they are refusing to do. This will only escalate the situation.
How to manage a confused dementia patient
Because dementia affects the memory, confusion about time, places and people are common. People with dementia can easily become fearful or uncertain when they don’t recognize someone or their environment.
DO: Try simple explanations accompanied by familiar things such as photographs, favorite items or even scents. Remember your aim is to try help your loved one feel safe and in control, even if it means delaying an activity or social gathering until they feel comfortable.
DON’T: Don’t use lengthy explanations or reasoning to overcome these moments of confusion, as they simply aren’t effective. Short, to the point explanations or even therapeutic white lies are the fastest and most effective way of calming and helping your loved one – which is the priority during these moments.
Expert Memory Care and Support Services
At United Methodist Homes of New Jersey, we offer support services and assisted living communities specifically for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents in environments that deliver the highest quality of life. An individualized care plan, developed for each resident, addresses their unique needs and level of independence and focuses on everyday routines like cooking, gardening, socializing, setting the table and other common tasks within a community lifestyle. These memory care programs also include activities for general wellness such as fitness, music and other sensory-rich activities suited to your loved one’s enjoyment.
Our residences are designed to be comfortable and homey, encouraging independence while supplying essential support and onsite medical care. For more information on our memory support services for Alzheimer’s and dementia, please contact the nearest UMH today:
UMH Bristol Glen in Sussex County, NJ: (973) 300-5788
UMH Collingswood Manor in Camden County, NJ: (856) 854-4331
UMH Francis Asbury Manor in Monmouth County, NJ: (732) 774-1316
UMH Pitman Manor in Gloucester County, NJ: (856) 589-7800
UMH The Shores in Cape May County, NJ: 609-399-8505
For more information, please visit www.umh-nj.org.
This content was originally posted at http://www.umh-nj.org/blog/what-are-the-essential-dos-and-donts-of-dementia-care/