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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I knew less than zero about dementia care when I returned to Canada from Dubai in 2011 to care for my mom who lived with dementia of the Alzheimer’s type. I learned a lot in a short time; I learned even more in the five years leading up to her death on August 17, 2016, and I’m STILL learning.

One of the most challenging aspects of care partnering is creating and maintaining a positive relationship between care partners – the one living with dementia and the one (or several) who help him or her to navigate living with the disease. Things can get tense and stressful and sometimes they spiral out of control.

Based on my personal experience with my mom, I developed a model to help myself and others minimize anger and aggression and thus reduce stress. I call it BANGS, which is a mnemonic for ways to defuse conflict with people who are in the early, mid and even later stages of dementia of the Alzheimer’s type.

The one-hour webinar below, which I made with Mike Good of Together in This in spring 2015 when Mom was still alive, explains the BANGS model using personal stories and examples. It show what kinds of things may spark aggression in someone who lives with dementia of the Alzheimer type, and what care partners can do to avert it.

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These five links will take you to short excerpts from the video; they home in on each of the five techniques with one to three minute clips and short examples:

  1. “B” is for breathe
  2. “A” is for assess, accept and agree
  3. “N” reminds us to never argue
  4. “G” is for go with the flow, let go of your ego, get on with it and get over it
  5. “S” is for say you’re sorry

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The two “videos” I refer to in the webinar are below the webinar video (one is in fact a short audio with a still picture; the other is a short clip of Mom and I making lunch in summer 2015)

 

“Video” example 1 – A Christmas Story:

 

Video example 2 – Why is Patty cranky?:

 

More useful links:

See the 7 tips on saying I’m sorry from Teepa and me here.

If you don’t want to end up in a “shoot-out” with a person living with dementia, use BANGS to get through the rough patch and onto higher ground.

Remember:

  1. “B” is for breathe
  2. “A” is for assess, accept, and agree
  3. “N” is for never, never argue
  4. “G” is for go with the flow, let go of your ego, get on with it and get over it
  5. “S” is for say you’re sorry

See also: Teepa Snow demos 10 ways to calm a crisis with a person with dementia

See more Together in This free webinars on various aspects of dementia care.

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Image copyright: bowie15 / 123RF Stock Photo

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