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This content is taken from the Newcastle University's online course, Dementia Care: Staying Connected and Living Well. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds So far in this course, we’ve found out a little of what’s happening in the brain when someone has dementia, and described how some symptoms make communication and understanding more difficult. We know that a person with dementia continues to make sense of the world around them and relate with us. Last week we thought about our role as carers, and how dementia affects our relationships. By sharing principles of good communication we have started to think through how to improve our interactions with a commitment to meaning. But our interactions are not always positive ones. Carers can face challenging behaviours and situations that are difficult to deal with, such as physical or verbal aggression, repetitive questioning and so on.

Skip to 1 minute and 3 seconds From the perspective of the person living with dementia, these behaviours may be a perfectly reasonable response to situations that appear confusing, but they can increase the stress we face as carers if we do not understand why this is happening. We need to understand what may be triggering certain behaviours, and find ways of responding more effectively.

Skip to 1 minute and 29 seconds We’ll be finding out more about this over the course of the week by speaking to our expert, Dr Ian James a clinical psychologist from the Newcastle Challenging Behaviour Team. We’ll also be talking to carers, considering some of the situations that are commonly described as stressful, such as mealtimes or helping someone go to the bathroom. During the week, we’ll invite you to contribute to discussions about how you effectively negotiate these challenges.

Communication for everyday challenges

A lack of knowledge or understanding of challenging behaviours and their causes can lead to heightened emotions, misunderstanding and eventually to the breakdown of personal relationships.

In this next part of the course, we’ll be looking at some behaviours and situations that we find most challenging, and think through some strategies that might help.

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This video is from the free online course:

Dementia Care: Staying Connected and Living Well

Newcastle University

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