These are the Five Guiding Principles I use while caring for people with dementia, whether or not I am dealing with someone with behaviors. These principles apply across the caregiving spectrum, from beginning stages to the end stages.
1) There is ALWAYS something in the SOUL of a person, at whatever stage they are living through, that can respond to connection, relationship and love. There is ALWAYS something to build on. ALWAYS something to honor.
2) Most problem behaviors occur secondary to an UNMET NEED. Meet the need, fix the problem.
3) YOU need to be the calmest person in the room! A person in the throes of dementia cannot always control their response to what is happening. YOU can! It is a skill that CAN be mastered!!
4) There is no one PERFECT way to be a caregiver. There are 100’s of ways to be a good one.
5) Make time for YOURSELF! An hour a day, a day a month, a week a year!