Especially with middle to late stage Alzheimer’s, oftentimes a person cannot express how he or she feels with words and instead communicates feelings through behavior. Successfully recognizing and dealing with problem behaviors in persons with Alzheimer’s disease begins by:

  • Identifying the cause of the behavior, known as the “trigger”. Questions to think about are:
    • What happened just before the behavior started?
    • Where did the behavior happen?
    • What happened right after the behavior?
  • Reacting calmly and reassuringly
  • Modifying the environment to reduce potential stressors that can create agitation and disorientation

Below are a few situations that Alzheimer’s patients face on a day-to-day basis that can cause “trigger” reactions. Also outlined are appropriate caregiver responses to help avoid future troublesome behaviors.

Unfamiliar Environment

A move to a different care environment, changing caregivers, or being in a location that the person is unable to recognize can be upsetting. Be reassuring and let the person know you care, that she is safe and that you will stay with her until she feels better.

Over-stimulating Environment

Too many people, too much noise, garish colors in the environment, shadowy rooms or excessive clutter can lead to agitation, hallucinations or aggressive behavior. A good response is to provide reassurance and encourage the person to go with you to another place where it is well lit, quiet and calming.

Frustration with Tasks

When trying to accomplish a task or chore that has multiple steps or seems complicated to the person with Alzheimer’s, strong reactions can occur. Stay calm and be patient. Repeat instructions one step at a time. Say statements such as, “Do as much as you can and I will help you.” If trouble continues, do not persist in making the person perform the task, but rather move on to a different activity.

To learn more common causes and supportive responses for Alzheimer’s disease-related behaviors, click here.

At Live Free Home Health Care of Concord, New Hampshire, our talented in-home caregivers have years of experience dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and are happy to help with all of your Alzheimer’s caregiving needs. Contact us today at 603-217-0149 to find out more about our in-home care offerings and learn if home care is a good fit for your situation.