Staying loving, strong, and patient when your loved one is struggles with difficult dementia-related behaviors is difficult, but understanding and managing inappropriate sexualized behaviors toward caregivers/loved ones is especially painful. Below, find two write-ups I found very helpful as reminders of how to love your loved one through the behaviors, not take the behaviors personally, and strategies for setting appropriate and safe limits for you and your loved one. Click to see the full article followed by an outline of topics to consider.
- React calmly.
- Look for a reason.
- Carefully deal with threats and accusations.
- Make clothing changes.
- Changes in sexual desire.
- Seek outside help and support.
- Contact the patient’s doctor.
- Do’s and Don’ts
- Reminder: You can’t control memory loss, only your reaction to it. Compassionate communication will significantly heighten quality of life.
- Reminders are rarely kind; don’t remind your loved one of your impatience of their disability and loss.
- When a patient forgets a sad truth, to avoid undue distress consider kindness in one of these ways: 1) distract to another topic; 2) engage in a fun activity; 3) reminisce about their loved one(s)
- Ask open-ended questions and give simple choices between two items, or simply direct an choice.
- Remember that their difficult/agitated/combative reactions may be hiding fear. Anxiety may compel them to act in frustrating ways. Reassure them of your love, commitment, and presence…and keep telling them as often as it helps.
Find more resources for understanding and managing dementia behaviors under Invest In Personal Growth.