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Responding positively with alzheimer

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Responding positively with alzheimer

  1. 1. . Responding positively with Alzheimer’s Behaviors: Dementia Personality Changes Written by Claire M. Henry, M.Ed.,CDP Dementia can be defined as a gradual deterioration of the brain. Very often, the individual with dementia is experiencing subtle personality changes prior to the pervading symptoms of the actual memory loss. The impairment associated with the disease can significantly change the individual’s behavior and functional status. In addition, the personality changes associated with the disease process very often becomes amplified in the early phases of the illness, requiring support for the care partner. Personality changes in a person suffering with dementia can be diagnosed through the examination of psychological and physical behavior symptoms. Changes in behavioral symptoms to be assessed: 1. Suspiciousness 2. Fear 3. Want to go home (usually looking for childhood home) 4. Tearfulness 5. Lack of participation in usual activities 6. Lack of interest in self or surroundings 7. Fatigue and weariness 8. Expressions of guilt and/ or worthlessness 9. Expressions of anger (verbal and physical) 10. Changes in appetite (increase r decrease) 11. Change in customary (usual) routine 12. Isolation (pushing others away) 13. Talk of suicide Helpful Care Partner Tips:
  2. 2. ~Assist the Care Partner with acceptance that personality changes are result of changes occurring in the brain. ~Assess triggers to behavior, including the individual’s need for safety and security, self-worth and dignity. Behavioral Approaches: ~Suspicious Behavior: use calm, reassuring approach. Understand the individual’s reality and inability to recognize objects and familiar people. ~Hallucinations: Do not attempt to reason with client. Comfort fears within quiet environment. May need intervention from medical personnel. ~Catastrophic Reactions: Not recommended to restrain, remove source of stress, redirect to calmer environment. Assess for safety and emergency medical interventions. ~Wandering, pacing, shadowing care partner: assess for environment or behavioral triggers. Behavior triggers such as, “Is the client looking for the bathroom, are they experiencing pain”? ~Sundowning Behaviors: afternoon agitation, assess for behavior triggers. Behavior triggers such as “Does the client need a nap? Assess environmental lighting? Is there sleep disturbance? Caring Resources is committed to providing professional care partners with the necessary skills and resources to enable them to provide exceptional care to their clients. Our training and educational modules are geared to professionals working in both community-based and residential care settings. For more information contact a representative at 781-540-1526.

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