Managing difficult social situations

February 8, 2021
September 7, 2022

Read a transcript of this video:

Dementia can cause changes in parts of the brain that control social skills and this can sometimes cause people to be impulsive or disinhibited, or say things that seem rude.

It is important to remember that these behaviours arise from neural damage and are not intended to cause distress to others. 

There are certain traits that often accompany dementia. These can include excessive spending of money; changes in sexual behaviour; obsessive behaviour and hoarding; speaking less, speaking repetitively or shouting; a lack of motivation or an inability to see things from other people’s perspective.

When supporting a person with any of these changes, it is important to communicate clearly both verbally – through what you say – and non-verbally, for example through your facial expression and gesture.

Even though the challenges can be emotionally tough on you as well, always try and approach every situation with a ‘clean slate’ and a positive attitude to ensure they are not demonised for it.

Talk to the person you care for about how they would like you to let other people know what happened. One good way of doing this can be carrying little cards that can be subtly passed to people:

We have sessions specifically focused on reducing the occurrence of these challenges and dealing with them when they do arise. Our courses have been designed to also address the emotional impact of caring for someone who exhibits these behaviours.

Managing difficult social situations
The behavioural changes associated with dementia can sometimes result in difficult social situations, but help is at hand
Emotion and behaviour
Everyday challenges