Underlying Causes of Challenging Behaviors

Managing challenging behaviors can be one of the most difficult aspects of caring for residents with dementia and other cognitive impairments. In their publication Behaviors: How to Respond When Dementia Causes Unpredictable Behaviors the Alzheimer’s Association reminds that behaviors can be the result of underlying problems, such as:

  • Physical discomfort: Such as pain, illness, or adverse effects from a medication
  • Over stimulation: Loud noises or a busy environment
  • Unfamiliar surroundings: Such as being in a new place or the inability to recognize “home”
  • Complicated tasks: Difficulty completing tasks can cause the resident to become frustrated and even angry
  • Frustrating interactions: Inability to communicate effectively

The next time you and your staff are working to manage a challenging behavior in one of your residents, consider these potential underlying causes.

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