Deescalating a crisis using verbal and nonverbal techniques

We need to use all the tools available to help calm a distressed client.  Often we encounter situations where someone living with dementia is either very upset or angered.  It is hard for them to express their anger or sadness.  They also get stuck in their emotional state.  It is up to us to connect with them and bring them back to a comfortable emotional state.

These are the ten steps we can use as demonstrated by Teepa Snow:

  • Remove the threat
  • Create Space
  • Be on their side
  • Get at or below their eye level
  • Use “hand under hand”
  • Breathe together with the same pattern
  • Speak in a calm voice
  • Relax your body and look for them to do the same
  • Attend to their needs


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