Destructive or Dangerous Behavior

There may be a greatly reduced awareness of dangers in the environment either to the person or to others. When a situation overwhelms the person with dementia he/she may overreact and destroy property.

Possible Underlying Causes:

Lack of ability to control temper; confusion; frustration; lack of cognitive awareness; too much stimulation in environment or with people; anger.

Possible Modifications:

  • Remove any weapons, knives, poisons or other hazardous materials which person might gain access to.
  • Remove any unsteady furniture or furniture with sharp corners. If person is bruising themselves on the edge of furniture you might also consider using bumper guards on sharp edges.
  • If possible, remove or block large areas of breakable glass (e.g., china cabinets, slidingdoors). Caregivers may want to consider the use of mobiles or decals on sliding doors to help in identifying dangerous glass.
  • Make sure all medications are securely stored and out of reach.
  • If person is using stove and caregivers are concerned about a burn or fire take knobs off the stove or install a switch to prevent burners from operating. Remove the fuse or turn circuit breaker to off if necessary.
  • Remove all poisonous flowers or plants in house.
  • Put child-proof covers over electrical outlets.
  • Keep small pins and buttons out of reach as they may be accidentally swallowed. Put away the sewing machine and iron.
  • Place masking tape or child-proof locks on cupboards or drawers you do not want person to get into.
  • Remove any valuable items that could be destroyed. Keep home simple and uncluttered.
  • Secure windows so that they cannot be opened by person.
  • Placing lock at top of window can be helpful.
  • Give person items he/she can destroy.
  • If person is a smoker, he/she should always be supervised and all matches and cigarette lighters should be removed.
  • Always use deep ashtrays or self-extinguishing ashtrays.
  • There should be smoke detectors in good working order in all hallways, a fire extinguisher in the kitchen or other accessible location, and an emergency exit plan.
    windows picStovetop Pic

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