Care recipient (cr) is very defensive towards others and accuses them of things they haven’t done

Try: Try to look and sound like you’re listening when face-to-face you need to look interested nod your head and keep good eye contact over the ‘phone – try making the occasional uh huh – i see if cr senses that you care and that you’re interested in his her problem then they’re likely to become more reasonable try to get all the facts – write them down repeat back paraphrase the problem to ensure your understanding and to let cr know that you are listening try to use names a person’s name is one of the warmest sounds they hear it says that you have recognize them as an individual it is important not to overdo it as it may come across to cr as patronizing make sure cr knows your name and that you’ll take ownership for the problem avoid blaming someone or something else try to be sensitive to cr cr’s ego avoid interrupting cr avoid arguing with cr avoid jumping in with solutions allow cr to let off steam avoid saying calm down try to see it from cr cr’s point of view too often you may think cr is making too much fuss you may think what what’s the big deal; i’ll fix it right away try to remember that the issue at hand is a big deal to cr and he she wants you to appreciate it you don’t necessarily need to agree with cr however try to accept the fact that it it’s a problem for cr try to be very aware of your body language and tone of voice they can make the situation worse if you’re not paying attention your tone of voice and body language may be communicating your frustration and annoyance but keep in mind that people listen with their eyes so cr may give greater credibility to how you say something rather than what you say it it’s also important to use a warm tone of voice when dealing with a difficult situation this doesn’t mean being nicey- nicey or behaving in a non-assertive manner try to avoid certain words when communicating with cr there are certain trigger words that can cause cr to become more difficult especially in emotionally charged situations these include you have to but i want you to i need you to i can’t or you can’t try saying something else other than sorry sorry is an overused word everyone says it when something goes wrong and it has lost its value how often have you heard – sorry ’bout that give me the details and i’ll sort this out for you try saying something like i apologize for _____ if you really need to use the sorry word make sure to include it as part of a full sentence i’m sorry you haven’t found your wallet yet harold again it it’s good practice to use cr’s name

Materials: Pen paper

Categories: Sage, Topic, Behavior Challenging, Emotional Psychological, Medical Physical, Cognitive Awareness, Somewhat Aware, Unaware, Long-Term Memory, So-So L T Memory, Poor L T Memory, Short-Term Memory, So-So S T Memory, Poor S T Memory

Information: Try to break tasks into small steps and write them out try offering cr limited choices and avoid asking cr open-ended questions for example ask do you want beef or chicken for dinner instead of what do you want to eat try using simple to-do lists and a calendar or appointment book try to plan activities so that the same type of thing happens at the same time every day try to get into a regular routine so that cr doesn’t have to rely so much on his her memory

References: dealing with difficult people by alan fairweather 2001 available at www howtodealwithdifficultpeople com

Keywords: Challenging behavior false accusations accuses accusatory upset angry cranky mad shouting shouts paranoid paranoia

*This information is listed as a Tip and is not explicitly medically licensed

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