With Dementia, we may often see behaviors in an individual, secondary to that individuals frustration or inability to communicate effectively. There are often triggers of these behaviors.

Below is a helpful chart to assist you in recognizing what those triggers may be.





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Trigger Description What to Do?
Physical

Too hot or too cold?

Use bathroom?

Thirsty or hungry?

Check comfort – re position, assess skin temperature and remove sweater if hot add if cold.

Show toilet for visual cue, ask if has to toilet using words that they recognize (Pee, Poop, make water, BM, etc).

Show a snack or beverage when offering it.

Emotional

Person may isolate self when world is overwhelming.

Verbal outbursts- cursing, crying, screaming.

Shadow staff as fear being alone.

Provide one on one. Reassure them.

Let him/her shadow. It will not be for a long time.

Make sure you are providing body language that is welcoming such as smiling.

Tasks

Doing anything with too many steps.

Doing something unfamiliar.

Break tasks into small steps to match ability of the person.

Steps will need to become even smaller as the person declines in cognition.

When introducing a new task try to couple it with something familiar and slowly introduce the new part.

Communication

Difficulty expressing wants, thoughts, and needs.

Unable to understand others.

Help the person find the word to express their thoughts.

Provide them with two clear choices State a direction, wait for a response.

If person does not understand, add pictures.