Having a proven strategy for managing challenging behaviors can improve your success in caring for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org) recommends this three-step approach to identifying common behaviors and their causes:
- Identify and examine the behavior
- What was the behavior? Was it harmful to the individual or others?
- What happened just before the behavior occurred? Did something trigger it?
- What happened immediately after the behavior occurred? How did you react?
- Consult a physician to identify any causes related to medications or illness.
- Explore potential solutions
- What are the needs of the person with dementia? Are they being met?
- Can adapting the surroundings comfort the person?
- How can you change your reaction or your approach to the behavior? Are you responding in a calm and supportive way?
- Try different responses
- Did your new response help?
- Do you need to explore other potential causes and solutions? If so, what can you do differently?
Learn more in the Alzheimer’s Association publication Behaviors: How to Respond When Dementia Causes Unpredictable Behaviors.