When a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease begins exhibiting changes in their behavior, it may appear that they are losing their inhibitions. There are several reasons why they may be acting this way: maybe they’re simply bored or need to use the bathroom, or it may be an effect of their dementia that is leaving them confused. While you may not be able to prevent all of these behaviors from happening, there are things you can do to mitigate your loved one’s behavioral changes and help the situation. Here are eight things you can do when it appears your loved one with Alzheimer’s has lost their inhibitions.
8. Stay Calm
If a loved one with Alzheimer’s starts to do or say things that are inappropriate, do your best to remain calm. Your loved one is likely trying to relay a need or is simply confused, and overreacting to their behavior will only further confuse and frighten them. Before you react, remind yourself that their behavior is part of their condition; they’re not intentionally trying to behave this way.
7. Don’t Argue or Scold
It may be easy to reprimand a loved one when they behave inappropriately, but you should refrain from arguing with them or scolding them like a child. They’re unable to control their behavior, which is why it is occurring in the first place. Unlike children, they can’t learn from such an incident. Arguing won’t help the situation; it will only cause frustration for the both of you.
6. Try Distraction
One effective way to deal with a loved one’s inappropriate behavior is to redirect their attention. You could try doing this with a game, a walk, or another activity. Sometimes their behavior can be a result of boredom, which is something they’re likely struggling to address. Giving them something to do will likely be helpful.
5. Look Into What’s Triggering Their Behavior
There may be certain external factors that play into the way your loved one is behaving. Try to investigate and find any such factors that are triggering their behavior. For instance, a loved one may begin to touch themselves inappropriately when they have to use the toilet; a trip to the restroom might help. Some issues are easier to address than others, but being aware of any triggers can help you plan ways to prevent some of these problematic behaviors.
4. Take Them Somewhere Private
If your loved one begins acting inappropriately in a public place, take them somewhere private and try to find out what’s going on. This is especially important if they start removing clothing, which can be because they need to use the restroom, or because they’re hot or uncomfortable. Sometimes, a quick departure for a little extra privacy and more focused attention can pay off in a big way.
3. Decide Whether The Behavior Needs To Change
In some cases, your loved one’s behavior may not be something that’s necessarily problematic, such as talking to strangers. Your loved one might feel the need to be social, and other people can serve as a good outlet for this need. However, you should still continue to monitor their behavior, as well as the social cues of those with whom they interact. If your loved one begins talking to someone who doesn’t seem to want to socialize, redirect their attention accordingly.
2. Explain The Situation To Others
In all likelihood, alerting others about your loved one’s condition will only work to your benefit. If the people around you are aware your loved one has Alzheimer’s, chances are they will be more helpful and understanding in those instances when your loved one’s behavior changes. They may even be able to help you prevent any serious issues from occurring.
1. Be Understanding
Above all else, it’s important to do your best to be understanding of your loved one’s behavior. They were probably a completely different person before dementia entered their life. They didn’t choose their diagnosis, just like they’re not choosing to act this way. Avoid making them feel bad, and try to roll with their behavioral changes as best as you can.
It’s important to remember that a person with Alzheimer’s doesn’t have control over their faculties like they once did. These behaviors, while inappropriate, are largely not their fault. Dealing with them in a calm, understanding, and loving manner will help you address the situation, and help both of you move on in the best way possible.
Another common behavior caregivers may experience is when a person with Alzheimer’s suddenly resorts to screaming and shouting, and you’re not sure why they’re doing it.
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