Changes in personality and behavior are common in people living with dementia, even at the early stage of the disease. When your loved one started to be more anxious, aggressive, sad without any reason, or just sit on the couch for hours without doing anything, sometimes it can be overwhelming for you as their caregivers.
It is always useful to rule out any physical problem that might cause changes in behavior, such as constipation, pain, fever, infection, etc. If you are not sure, you can check it out with their doctor. Caregivers meeting can also be a great place for caregivers to exchange experience with other caregivers and discuss how they deal with their loved ones.
Here are some tips how to handle this situation:
- Try to keep a daily routine. People with dementia often hardly cope with unplanned activities, they need to know what to expect.
- Try to reason the situation with your loved one often only create more frustration. So, don’t.
- You can offer new activity to your loved one, whether they want to play music, sing, listen to old records, making some crafts, or gardening. Yes, distractions sometimes work!
- Caregivers can feel tired too. If you feel overwhelmed, it’s okay, just take fresh air for a few minutes then come back and start over.
- Try to laugh about it! Laugh is always the best medicine, for your loved one and also for you!
- Do not complicate things. Keep everything simple.
If the behavior persists or getting worse after you have tried all of this (especially when their behavior might harm themselves or other people), then it’s time to consult with their doctor again whether your loved one need special medication or need to consider assisted living options.
Stichting Alzheimer Indonesia Nederland
29 November 2019