Avoid arguing with someone with dementia

Uncategorized Jan 04, 2021

Do you want to avoid the constant arguments and make it more likely that your loved one will accept your help without a fight?

This post and this video will give you an approach that you can use whenever possible to help make that more likely. 

Here’s the thing, so many of you talk to me about how your loved one resists your care. Or when you try to change their behavior, they get upset with you or deny they did anything in the first place.  And unless you start to change your approach, this type of behavior will likely only get worse, making your position as a Careblazer more and more difficult. Let’s not let that happen. 

I’ve worked with thousands of family members over the years and one of my ultimate goals is to give you the strategies and approaches that makes caregiving easier and smoother rather than what tends to happen - which is putting a strain on the relationship and making the caregiving situation harder. 

Today’s approach is one I recently shared with some of my care course members who were telling me about their struggles. I want to share some of my response to them here with you today. 

Okay, here’s the approach. 

Whenever there is a difficult behavior or something frustrating that your loved one is doing, whenever possible, 1) don’t call attention to that behavior and 2) remove the obstacle. 


Let me share some examples that my Course Members shared so you can see how you can apply to this too your situation. AND after, I’m going to tell you why this works so much better than trying to get your loved one to change .


One of my Careblazers was telling me how her LOWD constantly feeds the dog food from her plate. She tells her LO to stop, don’t do it, tells her why it’s not good for the dog and so on, yet this behavior continues. 

Now, if asking your loved one to stop doing the behavior worked, then great. But clearly, for this Careblazer and many of you, asking them won’t work. Even if your LOWD agreed to change, the chances of them being able to remember and follow through are small and they will fall back into the behavior.

SO, rather than constantly correcting her LOWD to stop feeding the dog, which will only make caregiver harder in the long term because these interactions wear away at the relationship and develop strain in the relationship, you remove the obstacle all together.

During meal times, the dog is not in the same room. This Careblazer can put the dog in another room during meal times so the trigger is removed, there is no need to correct. If the LOWD asks where the dog is, she can respond with in any number of ways, such as “she’s sleeping, I guess she’s tired.” Oh, she’s in the yard, I think she had to use the bathroom.” Or any other reason you feel comfortable giving. 

The beauty of this approach is that you don’t have to constantly correct and bang your head against the wall every meal. 1) don’t correct. 2) remove the obstacle. 

Here was another example that was brought up. 

This Careblazer said that her loved one threw away a loaf of good bread. She kindly asked him not to do that, and in her words, he became defensive and said he did no such thing.

Notice that approaching the behavior head on, not only doesn’t solve the problem, but it actually hurts your relationship with one another making it more likely there will be future difficulties. 

So what we talked about are all kinds of different approaches using the don’t correct, remove the obstacle approach. For starters, if this is a frequent behavior, she can hide the bread, she can add a bell on the fridge door to hear when he opens the fridge that way she is aware when he’s in there and if he’s on his way to the trash can with the bread she can intervene by asking if she can have a piece, or saying she wanted to give a piece for the birds and get the bread back.

If she can’t make it in time when she hears the bell, she can get in the habit of frequently checking the trash for good food that’s still in the package and may have been thrown out. But asking him not to throw it out resulted in him becoming defensive and said he never did anything. 

Careblazer, if I thought continuing to confront your loved one and asking them to change worked, I’d say keep doing it. Go for it. Absolutely, there’s nothing wrong with that if they don’t get upset and welcome that input.

But most of you talk to me about how when you try to get them to change, they get upset, they resist you, there is an argument. All of these things make your caregiving life so much more difficult. Does this approach make sense to you? 

But when it’s possible, you want to just get rid of the obstacle. In this approach, you simply take care of the issue by avoiding the argument. 

I don’t want your loved to start seeing you as a source of negative emotion. Because when this happens all kinds of caregiving tasks will become more difficult. That’s the key and that’s why these approaches are so important to think about and try. 

So remove the obstacle. Avoid the confrontation. Save the relationship. 

Let me know what you think about this approach Careblazer and I’ll be back next week with another post and video. In the meantime, be sure to download your free careblazer survival guide and if you could use an extra boost of lowering your caregiver stress and you want to reduce how often difficult behaviors occur, be sure to check out my booster series.


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.