How to Address a Non-Cooperative Elderly with Cognitive Impairment

Cognitive impairment is just the condition, the human will always be human. I said speaking with a caregiver about 16 years ago.

Dementia is memory impairment. Alzheimer’s is a disease. And cognitive impairment can be part of many underlying conditions; masked at times and unmasked at others.

What if the elderly are non-cooperative because of underlying dementia?

This behavior can manifest at home, outdoors, at an appointment, or even amongst familiar people.

The challenge lies in understanding and planning to address such. So the effects are minimal on the person affected and the others caring for them.

Here are some takeaways I used during my time as a Geriatric Specialist:

  1. Understanding the definition and levels of non-cooperation 
  2. Knowing and planning for each place
  3. Acknowledging the level of cognitive impairment, it’s progression, path, and future
  4. Scenario fast check and fact check to decrease the troubled mind’s retaliation
  5. Having ways ready to help disperse the behavior triggers when and if needed
  6. Like the above alternative modalities are key.
  7. Gaining trust, through a down to earth approach, humility, and compassion
  8. Introducing oneself with intent  to collaborate than to control 
  9. Ability to comprehend the extraneous factors in this behavior
  10. Using simple language and three to five-word sentences

There are many many other ways, as there are berries on a tree! How many more can we find or share? For what is the end solution or finale is within reach of every person addressing a non-cooperative elderly with cognitive impairment. 

These scenarios are part of a journey in dementia and dementia care. While many new ways emerge, sometimes all it takes is a few seconds of one on one time.

Time is precious, our beloved elderly are precious. Until next time, our thanks to all who have enriched our lives, forever! 

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