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Alzheimer's

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Alzheimer's: Dealing with Difficult Behavior
By J B Buckley

(Page 2 of 2)

Feeling discomfort can sometimes not be conveyed by your loved-one depending upon the severity of the disease but it can cause eating and sleeping disturbances. Frequently monitor your loved-one’s room temperature, lighting, noise level, and chair or bed position. If you think your loved-one’s medications could be curbing his or her appetite or ability to sleep, speak to their doctor about changing or eliminating prescriptions.

Pain can be a factor in eating or sleeping disturbances. Again, sometimes a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia cannot express their feelings; if you sense a change in appetite or sleeping pattern has suddenly occurred without due cause, set an appointment for a medical examination. Dehydration is a known factor of sleeping and eating disturbances. Make sure your loved-one is drinking plenty of water. Place a pitcher filled with water near your loved-one at all times. Remind them it is there frequently and check to make sure it remains somewhat full. Too full can result in another problem- slip and falls.

If you feel your loved-one is showing signs of depression, have him or her evaluated by their physician. Anti-depressants or bedtime sedatives may be a productive treatment option. Depression can also cause excessive sleeping or eating. In which case, increase their exposure to light and reduce or eliminate nap time or snack time.

Defined:
Behavioral problems are defined as patient responses, which are considered noxious to staff, other patients, the patient himself, or family (Burgio, Jones, Butler, & Engel, l988). Behavioral problems have a profound impact on quality of care, staff, morale and the day-to-day operation of the long-term care institution

 

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