Awkwardness. Discomfort. Disbelief. Shame. All of these feelings can cycle through a family caregiver’s heart when a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s demonstrates disinhibited behaviors, which can include:
- Rude or tactless comments
- Unacceptable sexual remarks or advances
- Removal of clothing at improper times
- And other socially unacceptable actions
The complicated changes that occur to the brain in Alzheimer’s disease could cause a complete turnaround in an older adult’s personality and behaviors, such as a formerly genteel grandfather suddenly swearing like a sailor. For somebody who is uncomfortable, disoriented, confused, or has simply forgotten social graces and skills, these behaviors in Alzheimer’s are actually quite common. Consequently, it’s crucial to know how to best manage them if they occur in someone you love.
- See if there is a solvable problem resulting in the behaviors, such as a physical illness, medication complications, the need to utilize the rest room, environment-induced anxiety, etc.
- Remind yourself that the Alzheimer’s disease is to blame, and respond gently and patiently, without overreacting or lashing out in frustration.
- Help the senior continue to be involved in appropriate activities according to his or her particular interests. In the event that the person becomes agitated with a particular activity, change to something else, or relocate to another room in your house or outside if possible.
- Pay attention to clothing choices, if removing clothes at inappropriate times is a problem. If the senior loved one has been wearing pants without zippers for ease and comfort, you might change to something a little bit more challenging to take off when out in public, for example.
- Be certain that every one of the senior’s physical needs are met to avoid problematic behaviors. Maintain a comfortable temperature in your house, keep numerous healthy drinks and snacks handy, and support regular physical exercise and movement.
- Offer appropriate physical contact often in the shape of hugs, holding the person’s hand, or rubbing his/her back, when welcomed by the senior, communicating reassurance to alleviate anxiety.
It is also important to ensure you have enough time for regular breaks to tend to your personal self-care needs and relieve the stress that is commonly inherent in taking care of a senior with dementia. Atlanta Home Care Partners’ caregivers are thoroughly trained and experienced in effective, compassionate Alzheimer’s care, and are here for you with as much or as little respite care as necessary. Contact our experts in Alzheimer’s care in Atlanta and the surrounding areas at (404) 228-0103 for additional helpful resources or to schedule a cost-free in-home assessment for more information regarding how we can help.