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How to Deal With Common Behaviors Caused by Dementia

Elderly Care in Natick MA

Because of the changes occurring within your parent’s brain, various behaviors will surface that are unique to this disease. Try to remember, as best you can, that it is a disease prompting these behaviors and not your parent’s true personality.


This behavior is one of the most disconcerting for those caring for a loved one with dementia. While it is not always clear what prompts this behavior, there are several factors to consider. Are they looking for something? Are they bored? Are they trying to fulfill a need such as exercise, hunger or companionship? Sorting through the possible reasons will help you formulate a plan of action that may diminish this behavior. If it persists, consider the following in order to maintain their safety.

  • Put childproof handles on doors.
  • Be sure they have a bracelet ID to wear at all times. Register them with the Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return Program.
  • Consider a video/audio monitoring system that allows you to observe your parent remotely.
  • Be sure you have exercise scheduled into their daily activities.

Paranoia and Irritability

When these behaviors surface, it’s extremely important to remember that this is the result of a disease. Try not to take it personally or feel you need to prove that they are wrong. The event or situation that prompted the paranoia or irritability is very real to them. Arguing won’t help. Steps you can take to ease the situation:

  • Find where your parent might be hiding “lost” items so you can quickly retrieve them.
  • Reassure them that you are on their side and will do everything in your power to keep them safe.
  • Irritation can often arise from feeling lack of control or the inability to perform an action. Let them do as much as they can while still keeping them safe so they maintain a sense of independence.
  • Keep a routine. A routine can be very reassuring for someone suffering the effects of dementia.
  • Distraction often works when agitation is a result of confusion. Directing your loved one’s attention to a specific task can help focus his attention.

Elderly Care

These behaviors can require close supervision, leaving you vulnerable to fatigue. Obtaining the services of a non-medical caregiver can allow you the respite you need to rejuvenate and recharge your batteries. Many non-medical caregivers have experience with seniors suffering from dementia, and know what to expect and how to resolve behavior brought on by the disease.

If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Metrowest Boston, MA, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (781) 559-0073