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5 Challenging Behaviors in Older Adults with Dementia

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After a senior loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, it’s reasonable to expect a few symptoms will begin to develop over time. Though some of the symptoms are minor, others can be quite difficult to manage. The staff at Home Care Assistance discusses 5 of these challenging behaviors and how you can help your loved one prevent them.

1. Sundowning

As soon as the sun sets, our bodies should begin the process of slowly shutting down. However, some elderly people with dementia experience a condition known as sundowning, which causes increased agitation and confusion when the sun sets. One of the most effective ways to mitigate this symptom is to create a rigid daily schedule for your loved one that limits unpredictability during the afternoon and night. 

2. Pacing and Rocking

Anxiety is a common byproduct of dementia, and seniors with the condition often manage stressful situations by pacing, rocking, tapping their fingers, or wringing their hands. Caregivers in Douglas County must recognize these signs early so they can remove their senior loved ones from situations that are overstimulating them. To calm your loved one down, try going on a short walk together, diverting his or her attention, or putting on some of his or her favorite music. 

3. Angry Outbursts

Aggressive behavior is one of the most difficult symptoms of dementia to manage. Your first goal is to ensure your loved one and everyone around him or her remains safe during an outburst. Another way to handle anger is to keep a journal of the triggers and then take steps to prevent those triggers in the future. 

4. Accusations

Being accused of wrongdoing by your loved one can be heartbreaking, and it can put an incredible amount of strain on your relationship. Dementia can make your loved one hallucinate and feel extreme bouts of paranoia. Though minor accusations can often be bypassed by distracting your loved one, a doctor must treat severe hallucinations. 

5. Repeating Stories

Providing Douglas County dementia care requires quite a bit of patience and empathy. When your loved one begins to repeat the same sentences and stories, the only thing you can do is smile and let it go. Trying to correct your loved one or becoming angry with him or her is only going to hurt your relationship and make your loved one confused.

If your loved one is living with dementia and needs help managing its symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care Douglas County, CO, families can rely on. All of our caregivers are experts in dementia care and are available 24/7 to provide mental and social stimulation and assist with tasks like cooking, bathing, and grooming. Call 720-287-1685 today to learn more about our premier dementia care services.