Inappropriate Language and Behaviour
| Management Strategies
- If you have noticed a recent change in the behaviour of the person you care for, see your doctor. A secondary condition may be causing confusion, such as hallucinations that lead to inappropriate behaviours and disorientation .
- If undressing in public is a common occurrence, try and find whether there are commonalities when the undressing occurs. Does it always occur when it is hot out? Is the clothing too tight? Are they tired and trying to get ready for bed? If you are able to identify when it is happening, you may be able to prepare yourself or make changes to avoid this behaviour. It may be helpful to keep a journal detailing each incident, where it happened, who was present and the time of day. This can help to find patterns and preventative techniques.
- If behaviour which you deem to be inappropriate or embarrassing occurs, make sure that you do not react in shock or anger. Do not ever ridicule. Instead, gently but firmly remind the person that their behaviour is inappropriate. After an episode has passed do not remind the person of the incident.
- When the person you care for is acting out, try to distract them and redirect them to an activity which is familiar and may be done unassisted. This can remind them that they do have some independence and may provide an alternate outlet for their frustration. Another distraction technique would be to put something in their hand which, if thrown, would not hurt anyone. The person will usually focus on what is now in their hand, instead of their anger or frustration.
- Remember that the actions are not deliberately done to upset you. It is the disease, not the person that is responsible for these actions. However, if there is potential for your physical safety to be threatened, have an emergency plan in mind and discuss it with friends, family and neighbours.
- In the case of an uncomfortable situation, it is a good idea to gently guide them away from the situation, while speaking directly and calmly.
- Modification of the behaviours is possible by altering the situation or triggering events. Altering the consequences that follow the behaviour can be a key way to manage inappropriate behaviour as well.
- In an effort to prevent unwanted situations you should keep reasonable expectations of the person with dementia and should therefore still encourage independence and activity enjoyment.