Possible causes:

  • Environmental, such as changes to living arrangements or in caregivers
  • Fear of bathing, unknown surroundings or having clothes changed
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling overwhelmed  or confused


  • Redirect person’s attention Remain calm and positive
  • Use visual and verbal cues (gestures)
  • Simplify tasks and routines
  • Whenever possible, give your husband options. But offer one or two choices to avoid overwhelming him. (e.g. do you want to wear this blue shirt or this red short? vs. what shirt do you want to wear?)
    Example: During a visit with his wife, Jim fidgets, picks at his clothes and seems restless. He can’t sit still and his wife is getting upset with his behaviour.


    • Ask him to stop picking.
    • Tell him to calm down
    • Raise your voice


    • Give him something to hold.
    • Distract his attention with music Talk about a happy moment in his life.
    • Go for a walk.
    • Consider the environment: is it too noisy or bright?
    • Consider the time of day: is he tired?

    Last Updated: 11/08/2017