10 Ways to Help Caregivers Cope with Dementia-Related Behavior Changes

Proven strategies from geriatric expert Steven Atkinson, PA-C, MS

Steven Atkinson, PA-C, MS.

When you treat dementia patients, working closely with your patients primary care givers is essential. Caring for someone with dementia can be frustrating, time consuming, and exhausting.

In fact, one in four caregivers spends over 70 hours per week caring for their loved one.

So, it’s no surprise that many caregivers experience social withdrawal, exhaustion, and even health problems of their own. Which means if your current approach to dementia care doesn't include educating and supporting your patients’ caregivers, you're missing a valuable piece of treatment. In this quick video, geriatric care expert Steven Atkinson, PA-C, MS, shares his top 10 strategies for empowering caregivers to face dementia-related behavior challenges.

10 Ways to Cope with Behavior Changes

  1. Remain flexible, patient, and calm.
  2. Explore pain as a trigger.
  3. Respond to the emotion, not the behavior.
  4. Don’t argue or try to convince.
  5. Use memory aids.
  6. Acknowledge requests and respond to them.
  7. Look for the reasons behind each behavior.
  8. Consult a geriatrician to identify causes related to medications or illness.
  9. Don’t take the behavior personally.
  10. Share your experiences with others.

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Meet the Expert:
Steven Atkinson, PA-C, MS, is a Board-Certified Physician Assistant specializing in Geriatric Internal Medicine. He practices medicine in the greater Minneapolis area. In addition to his private practice, he has been on the faculty at the University of Utah since 1994 and has been involved in medicine for over 30 years.

Steven is the co-founder of Twin Cities Physicians, which serves older adults in nearly all levels of their care. He has presented nationally for over 15 years, primarily speaking about geriatric-related syndromes.

Steven is the author of Geriatric Pharmacology: The Principals of Practice & Clinical Recommendations, Second Edition and also sits on several boards whose purpose is to elevate the level of care in medicine for the patients they serve. Steven has been described as a "dynamic" educator and one of the most engaging presenters around.

Learn more about their educational products, including upcoming live seminars, by clicking here.

Topic: Dementia | Geriatrics

Tags: Alzheimer's Disease | Dementia | Geriatrics | Video

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