When this happens there are some good options. Here are a couple of ideas:
- First be sure to educate yourself on how to respond to this person in a successful way. A great resource for families, A Dignified Life: The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care (HCI, 2012), teaches how to be a “Best Friend” to the person with dementia—to learn how to respond in a positive way and break this negative cycle. Home Instead Senior Care offers excellent family workshops that are free of charge and can teach you techniques to deal with the frustrating behavioral symptoms.
- Second, it may be time to take a break. Adult day centers can offer this. See if one is near you. It may also be time to hire an in-home caregiver who may be able to make a fresh start with this person without a lot of past baggage. You may also want to begin thinking about a residential care setting for this person—even if you think that is still well down the road.
- Regarding the constant activity, this is really not a problem for this person but it can be for you! See if you can create a path for your loved one in the house or garden. After he or she has done their rounds, try to redirect your loved one with his or her favorite flavor of ice-cream cone, music, a simple chore or going for a drive. You may also want to double check that the walking isn’t caused by a medical problem, for example pain or constipation.