What are BPSD?
BPSD is an acronym that describes the behavior and psychological symptoms of dementia, non-cognitive symptoms that arise from dementia's disturbed perception, thought content, mood or behavior.
The list is long, including but not limited to:
- aggressive, combative or threatening behavior
- agitation, anxiousness
- combativeness and threatening behavior
- delusions, usually of infidelity, abandonment and theft
- depression and withdrawal
- eating inedible objects
- hallucinations believed to be true
- hiding and hoarding
- inappropriate dressing/undressing
- inappropriate urination/defecation
- irrationally fearfulness
- repetitive activity
- tugging at seatbelts
- vocally disruptive behavior
These behaviors have normally been treated with antipsychotics, anti-anxiety drugs and mood management drugs. However, LBD's symptom of drug sensitivity drives care partners and Lewy-savvy physicians to look for other methods of treatment. Now experts are advocating that you try "non-drug options" first with all, BPSD no matter the kind of dementia involved.[i]
When care partners think of these behaviors as indicators of unmet needs, or "stress-related communication," they can look for its underlying cause and remedy it, instead treating the behavior itself. This often leads directly to the use of the non-drug options, such as the more responsive communication or Responsive Care Partnering.
Find here a good article on BPSD.
[i] Cane, M. (2015) Elderly at risk when antipsychotic drugs used to treat dementia. The Columbus Dispatch • Monday November 2, 2015.
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