Posts Tagged behavioral and psychological symptoms

Check out our Fall Conference on November 21st!

Please join us for our 5th Annual Fall Conference “A Meaningful Life with Alzheimer’s Disease” in collaboration with Wayne State University’s Institute of Gerontology. We invite healthcare professionals, caregivers, family members, and individuals in the early stages of memory loss to be our guests at this educational conference taking place on Friday, November 21st from 7:30am-3:15pm at Schoolcraft College’s Vista Tech Center in Livonia, MI. Breakfast and lunch will be provided and five (5) continuing education units are available for social workers, nurses, nursing home administrators, occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech therapists.

Fall Conference

Attend this event and you will gain powerful insight into the true experiences of living with dementia. In addition, presenters will discuss practical applications for implementing person driven care and methods to enhance quality of life. You will hear from individuals whose lives have been personally affected by this disease, be engaged through interactive activities, and discover resources that are available to assist families through the journey.

We look forward to seeing you there! To learn more and to register, please visit Questions? Call (248) 996-1053 or email

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Community Resource Finder and other helpful online resources

Asian grandparents and grandchild

Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia often involves a team of people. Whether you help provide the daily care (e.g., assisting with meals and bathing), participate in the decision making (e.g., making care arrangements and legal and financial plans) or you simply care about a person with the disease — there’s much to do and plenty to know. But it doesn’t have to be a lot of work to find the resources and support you need. The Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center — — can help.

Check out any of the online resources below for more information.


A social networking community where people with Alzheimer’s and related dementia, caregivers and others affected by the disease can share questions, experiences and practical tips via message boards or create private groups organized around specific topics.

Alzheimer’s Navigator

An interactive online tool for people living with dementia and those who participate in providing care and making care-related decisions. This assessment tool evaluates needs, outlines action steps and links the user to Alzheimer’s Association chapter programs and local services.

Community Resource Finder

A comprehensive database of local programs and services, housing and care options, and legal experts all in one location, allowing users to quickly search and find access and support.

Care Team Calendar

A free, personalized online tool, powered by Lotsa Helping Hands, that makes it easy to organize family and friends who want to help with caregiving and share activities and information among the care team.



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Behavioral and Psychiatric Symptoms of Dementia

Research indicates that the behavioral and psychiatric symptoms of dementia (BPSD) are a major source of caregiver stress and burnout. BPSD affects approximately 90% of all dementia subjects and is associated with a range of poor outcomes, including “distress to patient and caregiver, long term hospitalization, misuse of medication, and increased health care costs” (Cerejeira, Lagarto, & Mukaetova-Ladinska, 2012, p. 1). The majority of care of Alzheimer’s patients is provided by family members in the home. In fact, in 2012 15.4 million family caregivers provided an estimated 17.5 million hours of unpaid care (2013 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures). Therefore, it is critical that these front line caregivers possess the necessary knowledge, resources, and skills to execute behavioral management effectively.

Behaviors and psychiatric symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia can include some, any, or all of the following:

  • Agitation
  • Repetitive actions
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Wandering
  • Anxiety
  • Dis-inhibition
  • Irritability
  • Depression

Although perhaps troubling, behavioral  and psychiatric changes can be effectively managed with proper techniques. However, this is certainly a challenging feat. The caregiver must be flexible in their approach; as the person with dementia progresses, the strategies the caregiver implements must accommodate cognitive changes.

Research studies on this topic recommend employing non-pharmacological strategies to behavioral management. Some of these strategies include:

  • Analyze for causes of disruptive behavior (e.g. pain, medical illness, fatigue, depression, loneliness, etc.)
  • Redirecting the person’s attention
  • Reassure the person — use calming phrases
  • Respond to emotion behind statements, rather than the words themselves
  • Modify the environment — decrease noise level and distractions
  • Simplify tasks and routines
  • Allow adequate rest between stimulating events
  • Find outlets for energy — take a walk, do household chores, or go for a car ride


Cerejeira, J., Lagarto, L., & Mukaetova-Ladinska, E. B. (2012, May 7). Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. Frontiers in       Neurology(73), 1-21. doi:10.3389/fneur.2012.00073

Farran, C. J., Fogg, L. G., McCann, J. J., Etkin, C., Dong, X., & Barnes, L. L. (2012, May 1). Assessing family caregiver skill in managing behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Aging Mental Health15(4), 510-521. doi:doi:10.1080/13607863.2010.536140

Shaji, K. S., George, R. K., Prince, M. J., & Jacob, K. S. (2009). Behavioral symptoms and caregiver burden in dementia. Indian Journal of Psychiatry51(1), 45-49. doi:10.4103/0019-5545.44905

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