example of how arguing escalates conflict with people who live with dementia and how to fix it



Imagine this:

It’s a bitterly cold winter night. You have recently been drafted into the role of caring for your mother who has dementia. You are in her house in the country, miles from the nearest town. She is convinced she’s in a bad hotel and she wants to go home. You argue for several hours. In the end, she begins to get physically aggressive. She tries to break a window when you block her from getting out the door. What do you do?

This is what happened with Mom and I on Christmas Eve 2011:

How did I eventually get to the calm in the last bit of the audio? By using the concepts I later used to develop the BANGS model outlined here:

BANGS: 5 surefire ways to stop anger and aggression in people who live with alzheimer’s disease in the early, mid, and later stages

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1 Comment

  1. I love the way you use actonyms. Very effective. It took me ages to calm down and not argue especially at the beginning. That was when I knew nothing and had no one to ask as I didn’t know anyone who had had experience caring for someone with dementia. For me it was trial and error. I did quickly learn never argue!

    Thank you for your insights.

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