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Teepa Snow, Dementia Expert, on Challenging Behaviors

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Teepa Snow, dementia and Alzheimer's care expert, was the guest speaker at a caregiving event sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care of Sonoma County, CA.

This all-day workshop was held on March 22, 2010, at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Santa Rosa, CA. CEU credits were available to attendees which included RPNs.

(c) 2010 TeepaSnow.com. All rights reserved. Use only with permission from Teepa Snow.

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Teepa Snow, Dementia Expert, on Challenging Behaviors

  1. 1. Coping with Challenging Behaviors– It’s How You Do What You Do that Makes a Difference! TeepaSnow.com © 2010 Teepa Snow . All rights reserved. Use only with permission. Presentation at Home Instead Senior Care of Sonoma County sponsored Dementia and Alzheimer’s event, March 22, 2010, at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Santa Rosa, CA.
  2. 2. What behaviors are we talking about? <ul><li>Examples… </li></ul>
  3. 3. What Are the Most Common Issues That Come Up??? <ul><li>Not going to the MD </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Losing’ Important Things </li></ul><ul><li>Getting Lost </li></ul><ul><li>Unsafe task performance </li></ul><ul><li>Repeated calls & contacts </li></ul><ul><li>Refusing </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Bad mouthing’ you to others </li></ul><ul><li>Making up stories </li></ul><ul><li>Resisting care </li></ul><ul><li>Swearing & cursing </li></ul><ul><li>Making 911 calls </li></ul><ul><li>Mixing day & night </li></ul><ul><li>Shadowing </li></ul><ul><li>Eloping or Wandering </li></ul><ul><li>No solid sleep time </li></ul><ul><li>Getting ‘into’ things </li></ul><ul><li>Threatening caregivers </li></ul><ul><li>Undressing </li></ul><ul><li>Being rude </li></ul><ul><li>Feeling ‘sick’ </li></ul><ul><li>Striking out at others </li></ul><ul><li>Falls & injuries </li></ul><ul><li>Infections & pneumonias </li></ul><ul><li>Seeing things & people </li></ul><ul><li>Not eating or drinking </li></ul><ul><li>Contractures & immobility </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why Do These Things Happen? <ul><li>EVERYTHING is affected </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thoughts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feelings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It is progressive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More brain dies over time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different parts get hit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constant changing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It is variable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moment to moment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Morning to night </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Day to day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Person to person </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dementia is predictable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific brain parts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Typical spread </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some parts preserved </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Why Might These Things NOT Happen? <ul><li>Dementia is individualistic </li></ul><ul><li>The person ‘doesn’t have it in them…’ </li></ul><ul><li>The situation doesn’t come up </li></ul><ul><li>Other conditions keep it from happening </li></ul><ul><li>Caregivers have great skills </li></ul><ul><li>The dementia isn’t bad enough yet </li></ul><ul><li>You get LUCKY! </li></ul>
  6. 6. What Makes ‘STUFF’ Happen? <ul><li>SIX pieces… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The type & level of dementia … NOW </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The person & who they have been </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personality, preferences & history </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The environment – setting, sound, sights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other medical conditions & sensory status </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The whole day… how things fit together </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How the helper helps - </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Approach, behaviors, words, actions, & reactions </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. What Can YOU Control? OR NOT! <ul><ul><li>CONTROL… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The environment – setting, sound, sights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The whole day… how things fit together </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How the helper helps - </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Approach, behaviors, words, actions, & reactions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NOT CONTROL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The person & who they have been </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personality, preferences & history </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The level of dementia … NOW </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other medical conditions & sensory status </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. For your persons with problem behaviors… What are the behaviors that ‘ challenge ’ you?
  9. 9. But the REAL question should be… Is this behavior dangerous ?
  10. 10. Does this behavior create danger for the person or others in the setting? <ul><li>YES – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Then further assessment and problem solving is needed! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NO – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Give it up… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t sweat it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn to live with it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s a ‘So what?’ behavior – different, but not dangerous! </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. THEN… <ul><li>Use a Problem Solving Process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Know the person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build Caregiver Skills & Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create & Control the Environment </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. How to Help with Dangerous Behaviors? <ul><li>Identify the behavior… </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure – Is it dangerous? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Building Caregiver Skills & Knowledge <ul><li>Understand dementia & its progression </li></ul><ul><li>Know how symptoms affect behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Describe needs connected to behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Optimize interaction skills </li></ul>
  14. 14. What Do They Do? <ul><li>Question </li></ul><ul><li>Refuse </li></ul><ul><li>Release – verbal </li></ul><ul><li>Intimidate – physical </li></ul><ul><li>Tension reduction </li></ul>
  15. 15. What Should You Do? <ul><li>Be supportive </li></ul><ul><li>Offer choices & be directive </li></ul><ul><li>Set realistic limits </li></ul><ul><li>Act – Take control </li></ul><ul><li>Re-connect </li></ul>
  16. 16. Why will they do them? <ul><li>Physiological factors </li></ul><ul><li>Physical factors </li></ul><ul><li>Psychological factors </li></ul><ul><li>Social factors </li></ul>
  17. 17. Brain atrophy <ul><li>the brain actually shrinks </li></ul><ul><li>cells wither then die </li></ul><ul><li>abilities are lost </li></ul><ul><li>with Alzheimer’s area of loss are fairly predictable </li></ul><ul><li>… as is the progression </li></ul><ul><li>BUT the experience is individual… </li></ul>
  18. 18. Memory Loss <ul><li>Losses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Immediate recall </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attention to selected info </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recent events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Preserved abilities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Long ago memories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confabulation! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emotional memories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Motor memories </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Understanding <ul><li>Losses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t interpret information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t make sense of words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gets off target </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Preserved abilities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can get facial expression </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hears tone of voice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can get some non-verbals </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Language <ul><li>Losses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t find the right words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Word Salad </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vague language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Single phrases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sounds & vocalizing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t make needs known </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Preserved abilities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>singing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>automatic speech </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Swearing/sex words/forbidden words </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Impulse & Emotional Control <ul><li>Losses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>becomes labile & extreme </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>think it - say it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>want it - do it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>see it - use it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Preserved </li></ul><ul><ul><li>desire to be respected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>desire to be in control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>regret after action </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Self-Care Skills <ul><li>Losses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>initiation & termination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>tool manipulation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sequencing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Preserved Abilities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>motions and actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the doing part </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cued activity </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Factors to Assess… <ul><li>Level of dementia </li></ul><ul><li>Personal history </li></ul><ul><li>Health history </li></ul><ul><li>Caregiver approach & assist </li></ul><ul><li>Environment </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule & flow of the day </li></ul>
  24. 24. Progression of Cognitive Loss <ul><li>What is lost </li></ul><ul><li>What is retained </li></ul><ul><li>What is typical behavior </li></ul><ul><li>What helps & works </li></ul><ul><li>Levels 5-1 </li></ul>
  25. 25. Give information <ul><li>Keep it short and simple </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ It’s lunch time” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Let’s go this way” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Here’s your socks” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use familiar words and phrases </li></ul><ul><li>Use gestures and props to help </li></ul>
  26. 26. Encourage Engagement <ul><li>ask a person to try </li></ul><ul><li>ask a person to help you </li></ul><ul><li>give simple positive directions - 1 step at a time </li></ul><ul><li>use props or objects </li></ul><ul><li>gesture </li></ul><ul><li>demonstrate </li></ul><ul><li>guide </li></ul><ul><li>distract </li></ul><ul><li>redirect </li></ul>
  27. 27. Environmental Factors & Changes <ul><li>Setting </li></ul><ul><li>Props </li></ul><ul><li>Programming </li></ul>
  28. 28. Environmental Aids <ul><li>Setting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>familiar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>friendly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>functional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>forgiving (safe) </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Environmental Aids <ul><li>Props </li></ul><ul><ul><li>visible & invisible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>timely </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>available </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>matched to ability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>matched to interests </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Daily Routines & Client-Centered Programming <ul><li>Old habits and routines </li></ul><ul><li>Patterns during the 24 hrs </li></ul><ul><li>A time to rest, work, play…socialize </li></ul><ul><li>Your needs… my time </li></ul>
  31. 31. To Intervene… <ul><li>Where will you start??? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An idea – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>caregiver education </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>caregiver skill building </li></ul></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Then… <ul><li>Observe & document the risky behavior thoroughly </li></ul><ul><ul><li>what is the pattern </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>when does it happen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>where does it happen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>who is involved </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>what is said, done, attempted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>what makes it better… worse </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Is it really a problem? … A danger <ul><li>If NO - leave it alone </li></ul><ul><li>If YES - its time to problem solve </li></ul><ul><ul><li>call the team together </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>put on the thinking caps </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Explore all of the following - <ul><li>Type & level of dementia </li></ul><ul><li>Personal background information </li></ul><ul><li>Health information </li></ul><ul><li>Caregiver approach & assistance </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental issues </li></ul><ul><li>Habits, schedules & time of day </li></ul>
  35. 35. Re-look at the problematic challenging behavior… <ul><li>What does the person need? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the meaning of the behavior? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you understand the behavior better? </li></ul>
  36. 36. Make a PLAN! <ul><li>Who will do what </li></ul><ul><li>When will it be done </li></ul><ul><li>How will it work </li></ul><ul><li>What environmental change is needed </li></ul><ul><li>What props are needed - where will they be </li></ul>
  37. 37. Implement your plan! <ul><li>Keep track of progress </li></ul><ul><li>Document what is happening </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate among the team members </li></ul><ul><li>Rethink - if it isn’t working…. </li></ul><ul><li>CELEBRATE - if it is! </li></ul>© 2010 Teepa Snow . All rights reserved. Use only with permission. Presentation at Home Instead Senior Care of Sonoma County sponsored Dementia and Alzheimer’s event, March 22, 2010, at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Santa Rosa, CA.

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