Challenging Behaviors for the Caregiver
By Elisabeth A Hinman-Smith M.S.W. & Lisa P. Gwyther M.S.W.
"He never gives me a moment to myself. I can't even take a shower or use the bathroom anymore without him pounding on the door looking for me."
* Clinging behavior may be caused by an environment that is overwhelming for the person. If they are scared or confused, they will likely seek out and stay with a familiar reassuring caregiver. Reduce noise, activity or clutter.
* Provide the person with a substitute. Pets may provide a friendly distraction and be both a source and an object of affection. Try audiotapes of the caregiver in the kitchen or other familiar sounds.
* Other activities may divert the person. Provide them with a meaningful but repetitive job, magazines, or photo albums. Old, familiar songs may also give pleasure and reassurance.
* Reassure. Let the person know that you love them and you will not abandon them.
* Remember to schedule regular time away for yourself. Clinging behavior can be very stressful.
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