• Diversion is the easiest tactic. Change the subject, clap your hands, turn on the television or music, call out to someone across the room, ask a question … anything that will disrupt their thinking (and mouth!).

  • Physically move your loved one. Guide them away or, if they uses a wheelchair, move them to break the visual cues that are triggering their behavior.

  • Create space between your loved one and other people. When you walk them into a room, create a safe barrier of space so that they can’t “reach out and touch someone,” especially if they are a “grabber”.

  • Give them something to do with their hands. Some people with dementia crave textures, like furs, tweed, cotton. In later stages of the disease, for some people it works to hold a pillow, stuffed animal, or a blanket that has buttons sewed on it. Even a piece of Velcro he can smash together and then rip apart can help.

  • Tell adults to excuse them. Some people choose to explain, “My husband has dementia,” while others don’t—that choice is yours. You can simply ask them to excuse their behavior or advise them to step back a bit, with a smile on your face and an easygoing attitude.

  • If nothing else works, “shock” them a bit. Raise your voice and firmly tell them, “No!” Grab their hands and put them back in their lap. Look your loved one in the eye and let them know the behavior will not be tolerated.