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The 5 R's of Dementia Care

Proactive Tips from Our Trusted Dementia Care Experts

As your loved one’s dementia progresses, many behavioral issues may arise. Often, paranoia, false ideas, frustration, irritability, and anxiety afflict the person living with dementia. All of these behaviors are bound to have an intense emotional impact on you as you’re losing someone you’ve known and loved for a lifetime. In the face of this emotional intensity (as your loved one accuses you of stealing, insists that he hates his favorite dish, or is sure that her husband 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 dealing with a person living with dementia. The 5 R’s allow caregivers to separate from the emotional impact of behavioral issues that can arise when a loved one has dementia.

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 the irrational behaviors, but you can try your best to respond in a manner that won’t worsen the situation.

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

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