Thursday, May 5, 2011

Caregiving Tip - Mastering Reactions

One of the best skills a caregiver can learn is to control their own reactions.

"But it's my loved one's behavior that is the problem!"

Understanding dementia is difficult and living with it is too. For example, a person with dementia cannot remember repeating themselves over and over. However, this does prevent them from understanding anger, impatience, disapproval, or any other negative reaction caused by their forgetful behavior. Hurt feelings, return anger, and confusion are often the result.

Left unchecked, this becomes a vicious cycle. The caregiver feels stressed by the dementia related behavior. The person with dementia feels stressed by the caregiver's reactions. It falls on the caregiver to break that cycle because the person with dementia is not able to.

Learning to not react negatively to dementia caused behaviors will result in a more content and less stressful environment for everyone.

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