Dealing with Difficult Behaviors........

Recently, I had an opportunity to hear a gerontologist talk about how to deal with difficult behaviors when you are a caregiver.  It is probably the number 1 most problem causing problem for caregivers.  In dementia, there is a particular condition called Frontotemporal Lobe Dementia, which is often called FTD or FTLD. This particular dementia is characterized by two specific issues: changes in behavior and problems with language.

Beyond that, outbursts and behavior issues can also occur when pain is present. When someone cannot tell you in words about pain, often they will act out in ways that seem more angry and combative.

As with any of the conditions people have talked about with me, consultation with your family doctor and a neurologist is recommended first to determine what might be going on. Write down on a piece or paper or in a journal your description of the activity when it happens so that you can bring that information with you when you see a doctor.

You are often the eyes and ears for your loved one. Beyond that, be aware of any arthritis, muscle or joint issues your loved one may have that might produce pain when he is moved or is moving. Behavioral and non-verbal signs often indicate that a person with dementia is hurting or is in pain.

Many doctors prescribe a routine pain medication like over the counter Tylenol to help.

Dealing with pain and behavior issues are both so difficult for the caregiver and for someone who cannot communicate his need. Take care of yourself, too.  I welcome comments if you'd like to share your experiences too.