Managing the challenges of Alzheimer’s

Posted On July 1st 2013

Mary asked the questions again and again while waiting for her lunch at a restaurant. Her eyes were fixed on the centerpiece, which included a printed list of the specials during the next three days, including Christmas. So every two minutes, she had the same request: 'Please read me the menu. When is Christmas? When is Christmas?'

Repetition is one of the common challenging behaviors of Alzheimer';s disease. Others include refusal, delusions (fixed, false ideas or beliefs), aggression, false accusations, wandering and agitation.

Behaviors like constant and repetitive questions can try family caregivers to the breaking point, Alzheimer’s expert David Troxel confirms. 'It’s a long haul,” he said. 'It's not an acute illness – the average length is eight years, but people can live with it for 20.'

Following are approaches from Home Instead Senior Care network’s free Alzheimer's Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and EducationSM Training Program to help families manage challenging behaviors like repeated questions:

• Redirect. The first time a question or concern comes up, take a few moments to answer the question fully and provide reassurance that all is well. If that doesn't work, try to engage the senior in a related topic. For example: 'Tell me about your favorite Christmas.” 'What was your favorite present?' 'How about your favorite Christmas meal?” 'What holiday do you like best?' Sometimes discussing the topic (in this case, Christmas) a bit more will lead her away from the repetitive behavior and calm her anxiety.

Managing Alzheimers Aggression, #Alzheimers, #Dementia, #Caregiver

Click Here To