In order to cope, and to communicate with your loved one as positively and effectively as possible, consider the following the "THINK PEACE" method.
When a loved one living with dementia displays an inappropriate behavior, they are most likely trying to tell you that something isn’t quite right — your loved one may be hungry, in pain or tired. Caregivers can use the “THINK PEACE” method to identify the basic needs of their loved one that should be addressed when behavioral issues arise.
An organized, predictable environment helps relieve anxiety commonly known to trigger behavior issues in the person living with memory impairment. A daily activity structure should be planned to help your family member better understand and relate to their environment, so when inappropriate behaviors arise (paranoia, false ideas, catastrophic reactions, etc.), you’ll know to investigate. The “THINK PEACE” method is something our caregivers use to avoid and eliminate common behavioral problems that can be applied when you’re the caregiver at home.
Your loved one may need to void [use the bathroom] but does not know where to go.
Your loved one may feel hungry or thirsty, and are in turn frustrated.
Will cause your loved one discomfort, pain and embarrassment.
Is the environment too loud? Are too many people talking at once?
It’s important to keep in mind things about your loved one’s past, as they’re still the person you once knew.
This can often be a problem. Simple things like shoes being too tight, a headache or arthritis aches can be an issue for people having difficulty expressing their needs.
Is it too cold, too bright, too dark, too messy? Your loved one may respond drastically to such changes.
Your loved one needs to be engaged throughout the day and evening. Boredom means behaviors.
Are there too many people in one room? Your loved one may become anxious when in a crowded environment.
Your loved one may need to lie down and rest.
For more information about dementia and local services call Memory Matters Utah/Nevada at 435-319-0407. Memory Matters is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization providing services in southern Utah and Mesquite, Nevada.