New, no-cost resource helps support the well-being of people living with dementia.

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Intense emotions, less interest in daily activities, trouble sleeping – most people living with dementia will experience changes in mood or behaviour that are unique to their context and background. It’s important to understand that changed memory, thinking, moods or behaviours are not deliberate and they are not always a problem. In fact, these expressions are often an attempt to communicate discomfort and distress when the person with dementia has difficulty expressing their needs or making sense of their environment.

By paying close attention to patterns of moods or behaviours and exploring root causes of behaviour with compassion and curiosity, we can identify and meet the unspoken needs of people living with dementia. If changes in mood or behaviour do become concerning, there are evidence-informed approaches that can help.

Behaviours in Dementia Toolkit

Powered by the Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health, the Behaviours in Dementia Toolkit is a brand-new online library of over 230 free resources filled with practical and evidence-informed approaches to navigate dementia-related changes in mood and behaviour.

The goal of the Toolkit is to help care partners and health care providers better understand these changes, compassionately respond to moods and behaviours, and ultimately support people with dementia to live well.

In the Toolkit library you can search for online resources including videos, guides and courses that can help build understanding, improve communication, and support well-being. Health care providers will also find tools to support assessment, documentation and staff training, along with information handouts for patients.

There’s a lot to explore in the Behaviours in Dementia Toolkit. Below are a selection of 5 resources and resource collections to get you started:

1. Understanding behaviours in dementia pamphlet: This pamphlet includes a symptom checklist, highlights factors that may increase behaviours in dementia, and shares an overview of steps you can take to support someone experiencing dementia related mood and behaviour change.

2. A series of infographics that provide resources specific to different types of dementia, a variety of equity perspectives and unique care contexts: Some topics include young onset dementia, lewy body dementia, self-care essentials for care partners, resources for first responders and resources for personal support workers. The Toolkit also includes links to multilingual resources available in 52+ languages!

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3. Behaviour or mood specific resources: These resources are available in a variety of formats including tip sheets, web pages, videos, training courses and evidence summaries. Find different collections at the links below:

4. Resources with approaches to support with medication: There are several resources available to health care providers on assessment and treatment algorithms, medication guidelines and appropriate prescribing and deprescribing techniques. Video and audio recordings can be accessed to learn how to implement deprescribing algorithms and appropriately use medication in the treatment of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.

5. Resources with approaches to support without medication: Many resources highlight ways to increase meaningful engagement with people living with dementia to support their quality of life, personal goals and help reinforce aspects of their identity.

Remember that needs change over time and what works one day may not work the next. Stay flexible and be creative. With support, people experiencing behaviours in dementia can lead active and fulfilling lives.

Explore the Behaviours in Dementia Toolkit at behavioursindementia.ca for practical and evidence-informed resources today!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health (CCSMH) is the only Canadian not-for-profit organization focused solely on supporting older adults' mental health through information, resources, professional development and clinical guidelines.

Find no-cost, evidence informed resources for health care providers and for older adults at CCSMH.ca.

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