Have you ever witnessed someone with dementia become very upset suddenly? You may not have observed any understandable reason why they began sobbing or tried to strike out at you without warning.
I've compiled some thoughts on what causes catastrophic reactions, how to prevent them and how to respond after one occurs here:
It's easy to react negatively to catastrophic reactions if you're the loving caregiver who tries so hard to help your family member. Their actions can make you feel upset, sad or angry because you're simply trying to provide the care that he needs.
But, it may help you to remember that those catastrophic reactions feel absolutely catastrophic for your loved one with dementia. And, unlike you, he might not have the ability to understand why they occurred, or to understand that he was overreacting. All he may know is that something terrible was happening and he was responding to it. Sometimes keeping this in mind can make it easier to take a deep breath and a few minutes' break, and then return to your loved one with more compassion and less frustration.