Much of what we call “negative behaviors” in those living with Dementia are expressions of unmet needs. Someone who wanders may need more physical activity or stimulation. When someone refuses to participate in something we think they’d enjoy, do we ask why? Or, have we expected them to accept a preprogrammed activity?
People living with Dementia have personal needs and they still know what they want and how they want to live. Unfortunately, their disease makes it difficult for them to express themselves in a way we understand. We need to find the empathy to understand their needs and address those needs with person-centered care.
We are all human beings with human needs. Dementia does not change that. If you’re confused by their reactions/responses, ask yourself – How would I feel in this same situation? What would I want? Please resist the urge to feel pity and sorrow; respect and dignity will go further towards ensuring them an optimal life.
Related Episode (Donna’s other episode)
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