Mar 20, 2015

The Role of Reassurance in Dementia Care

How much time have you spent thinking about the role of reassurance in dementia care?

The Role of Reassurance in Dementia Care | Alzheimer's Reading Room

Reassurance, to Reassure:
  • to make someone feel less afraid, upset, or doubtful.
  • to restore to confidence.
  • to relieve someone of anxiety.
Synonyms: assure, cheer, console, comfort, solace, soothe.

Custom Search - Did You Know Dementia Patients Get Agitated When Left Alone?

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

How much time have you spent thinking about the role of reassurance in dementia care?

Do you devote time each day, with a sense of purpose, and reassure your dementia patient?

Do you hold their hand or put your arm around them? Hug them?

As a result of the deterioration in the brain caused by Alzheimer's disease and related dementias patients often become easily confused or frustrated.

Confusion and frustration can lead to anger and sometimes outright fear.

In order to insure that patients don't become "challenging" it is often a best practice to reassure the person many times each day.

One excellent form of reassurance is to tell the person that everything is okay and you will continue to be with them all the time (in other words, you will take care of them).

It is not unusual for dementia patients to assume things are broken when they can't use them.

For example, lets say they press the wrong button on the television remote control, and then the remote stops working properly. What does the dementia patient usually assume? That the remote control is broken or no longer works properly

What would you assume? That you actually pressed the wrong button on the remote control; and, now all you have to do is press TV and it will start working properly?

Has this ever happened to you?

Dementia patients as a matter of course usually blame. For example, when they can't find their purse -- someone stole it.

Both of the above examples can cause stress, confusion, and sometimes lead to anger on the part of a dementia patient. If not checked with reassurance these negative feelings can lead to a cumulative stress that causes challenging or even violent behavior.

When a dementia patient claims their purse has been stolen do you find the purse and then lecture them?

Or, do you calmly reassure them, and then help them locate the purse and reduce their anxiety.

How you deal with stress, confusion, anxiety, and anger often determines how you describe your relationship with someone living with dementia.

If you constantly reassure, it is likely that your dementia patients is cooperative, kind, and gentle.

If you don't use reassurance as a tool in dementia care it is likely that your dementia patient is difficult to deal with, often unhappy, and often expresses behaviors that can best be described as challenging.

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Bob DeMarco is the Founder and Editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized influencer, speaker, and expert in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community Worldwide. The ARR Knowledge Base contains more than 5,000 articles. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
To learn more about Alzheimer's and Dementia visit the Alzheimer's Reading Room.

No More Blah Blah Blah

No More Blah Blah Blah | Alzheimer's Reading Room
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One of the hardest things to do as an Alzheimer's caregiver  is learning how to understand, cope, and communicate with a person living with dementia.