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This content is taken from the University of Birmingham's online course, Dementia: Understanding and Managing Challenging Behaviour. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds SPEAKER: Three years ago, Peter’s daughter began to notice that he seemed to be forgetting things.

Skip to 0 minutes and 23 seconds Once when he was in the park with his grandsons, he angrily shouted at one of the boys saying that he was kicking the ball wrong. His daughter describes a man who likes to be in charge, but she had never known him to get angry about something like that. His daughter said that she’d also started to notice his becoming forgetful and on one occasion even left the house in his pajamas. Eventually, Samantha persuaded him to go see the doctor for a check up, and he was then referred to a memory clinic. Peter was diagnosed with dementia and was understandably upset. With the support of his daughter, he managed to stay at home.

Skip to 1 minute and 0 seconds But as the dementia progressed, she found his behavior more difficult to manage. On several occasions he left his house and was found by neighbors in the local shopping center, clearly lost and disorientated. On these occasions he said he was looking for his wife and became angry and agitated when people tried to take him back to his house. At times he didn’t recognize his daughter, which she found particularly upsetting. His daughter recognized that he was at risk in his own home, and so she decided, for his safety, he needed to be moved to a nursing home. Peter life in the nursing home follows a regular daily routine.

Skip to 1 minute and 38 seconds At 7:00 two care assistants come into his room. They help him out of bed, wash him, and take him downstairs for breakfast. They usually engage in friendly chatter, using terms such as “sweetie” and “love”. Breakfast is instant coffee or tea, cereal or porridge, and toast. Most mornings the TV is on and staff chat with the residents, trying to create a friendly atmosphere. When it’s warm, French windows are open and the residents can look out across the garden, which is well maintained by a local gardener. There is a bath rota, so each day some of the residents are bathed during the morning. And lunch is at midday. Most residents have a hot meal followed by dessert.

Skip to 2 minutes and 17 seconds Since arriving at the nursing home, staff report that they have had problems getting Peter to eat. Also he wanders all day and often tries to leave the home. Becomes agitated and aggressive when they try to bath him, so they often have to abandon the bath and just give him a quick wash.

Skip to 2 minutes and 39 seconds Peter’s piano playing poses a particular problem. On the one hand, there is a piano in the nursing home. However some of the other residents complain about the noise and staff struggle to find a time when it’s convenient for Peter to play, with frequent disagreements between staff, Peter, and some of the other residents. Amongst the care staff, Peter is seen is difficult resident.

Video: case study

Watch this video to find out about how Peter was diagnosed with dementia, and his life in the nursing home.

We will be revisiting Peter’s biography in the next couple of weeks.

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This video is from the free online course:

Dementia: Understanding and Managing Challenging Behaviour

University of Birmingham