Understanding Dementia

Many of the clients or residents you work with will have been diagnosed with some form of dementia.

Dementia is a term used to describe a variety of brain disorders that include symptoms such as loss of memory, confusion and problems with speech and understanding, and changes in mood and behaviour.

One of the causes of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain, which causes thinking and memory to become seriously impaired.

You may see changes in the person’s ability to interact with the people around them and perform activities of daily living.

When we ask people like yourselves who work with people who have dementia about the number one difficulty they face as a care provider, the answer is always a challenging behaviour, such as aggression, wandering, physical resistance or agitation.

We call this behaviour “responsive,” because it is not unpredictable, meaningless aggression or agitation.

We understand that:

  • The person is responding to something negative, frustrating, or confusing in his or her environment
  • The reasons or triggers for challenging behaviours may be external rather than within the individual
  • Problems in the social or physical environment can be addressed and changed

U-First! Training will help you to work more effectively with people living with dementia, creating a healthy workplace for you.


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