Alzheimer’s Association Training to Deal with Aggressive Behaviors

ST. GEORGE – The Alzheimer’s Association is presenting a training seminar on Aug. 15, to assist caregivers of persons with dementia in understanding aggressive behaviors.

The training seminar will be held at the Washington County Library, located at 88 W 100 South in St. George, and will run from 2-4 p.m. in Community Room A.  It is free to the public, and no preregistration is required.

Nina Ferrell, director of mobil assessment and geriatric outreach for Salt Lake Behavioral Health, is the invited guest speaker who will be conducting the training.

“Aggressive behavior is not a normal part of dementia, however when it happens the caregiver and the care receiver suffer,” said LuAnn Lundquist, the Association’s Utah Chapter state education coordinator. “There are things that can often prevent agitation and there are procedures to follow when someone is agitated. That is what this training is all about”.

Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia can cause a person to act in different and unpredictable ways. Some individuals with Alzheimer’s become anxious or aggressive. Others repeat certain questions or gestures. Many misinterpret what they hear. These types of reactions can lead to misunderstandings, frustrations and tension, particularly between the person with dementia and the caregiver. It is important to understand that the person is not acting that way on purpose.

“We want to prepare our caregivers for every situation when taking care of a person with dementia,” said Lundquist. “We are honored to have Ferrell here to train and share her knowledge and experience in preventing and dealing with aggressive behaviors. With training that is applied in the home or in the facility, our clients will experience a better quality of life.”

Often times aggressive behavior can be related to physical discomfort, over stimulation, unfamiliar surroundings, complicated tasks and frustrating interactions.

“Every person living with the disease reacts differently to their fears. If the caregiver, family or professional is prepared they can ease those fears and create a better environment of care.” said Lundquist.

Ferrell has a Master’s degree in Psychometrics and Counseling from the University of Colorado at Denver, undergraduate and post graduate studies in psychology and business administration. She currently is employed by Salt Lake Behavioral Health, an 118 bed acute psychiatric hospital located in Salt Lake City, UT as Director of Assessment Services, Mobil Assessment and Geriatric outreach.

For more information please call the Alzheimer’s Association at 435-628-8656.


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