Coping with Behavior Changes in Alzheimer’s Disease Program Recap

Thank you to Mary Anne Ross from Alzheimer’s New Jersey for her presentation Coping with Behavior Changes in Alzheimer’s Disease in honor of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.  Caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s or other dementia related diseases can be a full-time job as well as overwhelming psychically and emotionally, especially when the person we love develops challenging or harmful behaviors.  Mary Anne suggests a 5 step protocol to help manage challenging behavior:

  1. Assess the situation
  2. Analyze possible causes
  3. Determine ways you can respond
  4. Intervene
  5. Evaluate

In some cases, a change in a person’s behavior can be indicative of them trying to communicate in a different way; for example, if a loved one starts becoming agitated at a certain time or becomes restless, that may indicate that they are hungry, but have just forgot how to communicate that verbally.  When dealing with any behavior, here are some tips:

  1. Stay calm and approach from the front
  2. Look for triggers to understand the behavior
  3. Don’t argue or reason
  4. Redirect to an enjoyable and safe activity

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About Andrew Dauphinee

Education and learning are passions of mine. Lifelong learning is a core part of who I am and I strive to pass that desire for information on to everyone I meet. As the Instruction and Outreach Librarian, it is my goal to provide quality, informative, and relevant programming to meet the diverse needs of our patrons. Please contact me regarding programming at