We need to consider the possibility that problematic challenging behaviors such as aggression and violence, wandering, inappropriate shouting, may (a) have a physical cause and/or (b) make a significant contribution to triggering or sustaining that type of behavior.
Challenging Behavior Guidelines
Challenging behavior must be considered as a way a person with Alzheimers communicates distress.
Some Examples of Physical causes of Challenging behavior
Communicating a physical need such as thirst or hunger, or the need to go to the bathroom
Communicating a physical need such as pain or discomfort, i.e. dental problems, sitting too long in one position, a wet or soiled diaper, etc
Communicating dislike of a taste, food type, drug etc.
Constipation, a common feature during illness and in elders
Challenging behavior indicating the presence of diseases
Challenging behavior can occur because the person is ill. This includes; Infections such as urinary tract infection, chest infection. Infection can cause delirium, toxic states, damage to organs
Toxic substances such as drug side effects, interaction with other drugs, alcohol
kidney or liver disease
Arthritis, bony injury, muscular injury
Some physical causes of challenging behaviors can be easily resolved, leading to a dramatic, positive effect. If you suspect an illness is causing the challenging behavior you need your doctor to diagnose and help to treat it. Meeting the considerable difficulties, especially in more complex cases, may require a multidisciplinary team approach to help you (a) identify the cause (b) to offer help/ support/ treatment.