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In the first two sections you learned about different types of memory and how memory changes with age and as a result of dementia and cognitive disorders. The information you learned in these first sections will be important in helping you understand and cope with memory loss and dementia.

The changes in cognitive and brain functioning that occur with dementia also cause changes in behaviour that can be stressful and challenging for caregivers (e.g., verbal and physical aggression, agitation, wandering, depression, and anxiety). Coping with these challenging behaviours requires both an understanding of why they are occurring as well as strategies for managing them more effectively. In this section you will learn a general approach to managing challenging behaviours as well as specific strategies for the most common challenging behaviours.

In this section we'll look at:

  • a general approach to understanding and managing challenging behaviours

  • specific strategies for managing the most common behavioural challenges resulting from a decline in brain function

  • some useful hints to help caregivers communicate with individuals who have cognitive impairment or dementia

  • suggestions for knowing when it is time to consider moving an individual with dementia from home to long term institutional care

  • where to go for more information on coping with dementia.

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