IDENTIFYING CHALLENGING BEHAVIOR
There are many common behavior problems caregivers face, and they’re probably the most frustrating and challenging to handle. They’ll test your patience and challenge your creativity to maintain peace.
Look over this list and see if any sound familiar. Those that are underlined are linked to a post.
Crying / Pouting / Temper Tantrums
Physical, Verbal, or Emotional Abuse
Fits of Rage
Refuses to Cooperate
Offensive or Inappropriate Language
Repetitive Questions, Stories, or Complaints
Each one of the behaviors listed will eventually have its own post under this category. If you’re struggling with a different behavior issue, please send me a message via “Contact Marti” and I will try to address it, or post your concerns in the Comments section below for an open forum discussion.
WHAT CAN I DO NOW?
Do your best to remain calm. As a rule of thumb, yelling at them or arguing will only serve to escalate the situation. This can result in a snowball effect. It certainly doesn’t help them, and it most certainly will increase your own stress level, which is the last thing you need.
While it’s sometimes difficult not to take things personally, try to understand these problems are usually a manifestation of their illness or feelings of helplessness.
Report any changes in behavior to their doctor or hospice team. Some of the behaviors could be a side effect of one of their medications. It could also signal a deterioration in their condition.
Track the incidences: date, time, behavior exhibited. This might give a clue as to the cause. For example, does it occur at a specific time of day or night? After taking a particular medicine? After a certain person visits? etc…
If necessary, walk away for a few minutes to calm yourself.
If you or the patient are in risk of bodily harm, call 911 for help, then notify the doctor or hospice care team. Abuse is never acceptable, and you will be of little help to them if you’re injured.
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