Monday, January 14, 2013

Dementia Diagnosis: Grouchy-itis

Our morning was started with a not-so-pleasant phone call from an individual who was stressed.  This stress was playing out in the form of anger toward my husband.  One important fact to comprehend is my husband and I were about 400 miles away from this individual when the phone call came through.  Nonetheless, it was our fault he was experiencing the emotions which were overtaking his mood.

This is a common scenario when you are caregiving for someone with dementia.  No matter the reason for their frustration, you can become the target.  Try not to take it personally.  While this is certainly easier said than done, it is good advice.  When your loved one vents their anger, emotional distress, frustration, or any unhappy emotion, they may be communicating something very important.

Notice whether this individual may be cold.  Are they hungry?  Are they thirsty?  Have they soiled themselves?  Lastly, and potentially most important, are they in pain?  It is common for an individual who is experiencing disruptive behavior to be in pain.  The most common form of pain is a urinary tract infection.

Be aware of the non-verbal cues your loved one gives you.  Their actions speak loudly.  Hope that gives you Something To Ponder.

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