Dementia occurs with changes in the brain called neurodegeneration (degeneration of the building blocks of the brain). Dementia is a progressive disease meaning that as the neurodegeneration spreads in the brain, symptoms worsen and new symptoms appear. Among these symptoms can be a change in behaviour. Dementia affects behaviour in a different way for every individual, but understanding why these changes occur may help you cope with them. Always discuss with your doctor about your concerns in behavioural changes.
When a particular behaviour is reoccurring, try the ABC approach:
Think back to times when the person has become reactive and think of what events have led to these outbursts. Can you identify any common triggers? These could give you a clue as to what is troubling them.
Name the behaviour that is happening as a result of these triggers.
Identify what happens when you react in a certain way to the behaviour. Now try to remove the trigger and/or change your response to the behaviour.
Keep in mind that the ABC approach may not always work; do not blame yourself if the distressing behaviour remains.
Behaviour changes and how to respond to them with the ABC Solving Approach are discussed in more details in the following Fact Sheets:
There are guidelines you can follow to help manage behavioural symptoms occurring with dementia.
An intervention may help in one situation for a particular behaviour and not another. Take what make sense to you, adjust it to your particular situation.
The person with dementia is not being deliberately difficult: don’t take it personally. Stay calm, be patient and do your best.
Reduce unmet needs by:
Avoid boredom, loneliness, understimulation.
It is important for you and to offer the best care to the person with dementia.
Behaviour changes and how to respond to them are discussed in more details in the following Fact Sheets: