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The 5 R's of Dementia Care

Proactive Tips from Our Trusted Dementia Care Experts

As your loved one’s symptoms of dementia progresses, many behavioral expressions may occur. Often, paranoia, false ideas, frustration, irritability, and anxiety afflict the person living with dementia. All of these expressions are bound to have an intense emotional impact on you and it can feel like you are losing someone you’ve known and loved for a lifetime. In the face of this emotional intensity (as your loved one makes accusations of stealing, insists that they hate eating their favorite dish, or is sure that their spouse is an impostor), it’s important to resist responding with logic and reason.

The 5 R’s are a psychological tool-set intended to aid caregivers when caring for a person living with dementia. The 5 R’s help caregivers to separate from the emotional impact of the behavioral expressions of dementia that can develop.

The R’s

  • Remain calm: Don’t argue or try to reason. Take a deep breath before you act.
  • Respond to feelings: Validate how your loved one seems to be feeling at the time.
  • Reassure: Remind your loved one that s/he is safe and cared for.
  • Remove: Remove yourself physically or distance yourself psychologically for a moment to regain your composure.
  • Return: Return fully to the situation when your loved one begins to calm down.

Remember, no matter how hard you try, you can never separate the emotional connection to your loved one from their expressions and behaviors, but you can try your best to respond in a manner that won’t make the situation more difficult.

Contact Homewatch CareGivers for more information about our dementia care tips.

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