Understanding changes in behaviour

Calming techniques

This video provides calming techniques which may help a person with dementia as well as their carer. This includes a breathing technique known as the signal breath

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Changes in perception and hallucinations

For some people living with dementia, their brain misinterprets the information from their senses. This is called changes in perception and leads to them misunderstanding the world around them, or, in more rare instances, the person having hallucinations

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Coping with distress

When a person with dementia becomes distressed, it is often because they are trying to communicate something to you. Here are some techniques that can try to prevent the distress in the first place as well as methods for promoting calm in the moment

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How to handle communication challenges

Communication can be frustrating for the person with dementia, and for their family, friends, and carer team who do not always know the best way to respond. The communication challenges we’re asked about also tend to have some common themes so we’ve provided some answers and recommendations to questions carers ask us

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Delirium (confusion)

A sudden change in a person’s mental state is known as delirium. Delirium could lead to increased confusion, disorientation, or difficulty with concentration, and can come on very quickly

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False beliefs and delusions in dementia

For some people living with dementia, their brain misinterprets the information from their senses. This can lead to them holding false beliefs and delusions about the world around them. These false beliefs or ‘different realities’ can be very distressing

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Dealing with restlessness

Restlessness can present as someone pacing, fidgeting, or trying to leave
the house. Here are some techniques and approaches which can be used to prevent and manage potentially distressing situations

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When someone doesn't recognise you

As their dementia progresses, some people with a diagnosis will stop recognising people they know, even close family members. This can be upsetting for families. Attempts to remind the person who the people in front of them are can be confusing and frustrating for them

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Dementia and difficulty with sounds

People with dementia can experience additional difficulties with their hearing, aside from those traditionally related to ageing. They may experience problems identifying what a sound is, or picking out one sound from another

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Sundowning

Sundowning is a term used for the changes in behaviour that occur in the evening, around dusk. Some people who have been diagnosed with dementia experience a growing sense of agitation or anxiety at this time

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Understanding dying

Dying is an individual and unique experience: everyone will experience it in their way and have their own needs. There are common characteristics and changes that help us to know when a person is dying

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View all of our leaflets

Read or download our free information leaflets. They’re all written by our specialist dementia nurses and put together in response to the questions we hear on our Helpline and in the community

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