A client in an adult day center in Paris would disrupt the daily reading of the schedule of activities. She would ask questions, make comments, and upset other clients. When they would tell her to shut up, she would get angry and shout back at them. After hearing about “The Tai Chi Defense,” which is discussed in our book “Hiding the Stranger in the Mirror,” staff members began to take a different approach. They would give the schedule to the woman and ask her to read it aloud for the other clients. She took this job very seriously, and did it with gusto. If another client would try to interrupt by asking a question, she would calmly say “You will have to wait until I am finished.”
If we can provide a positive outlet for a person’s anxieties or concerns, we can change a challenging behavior into a positive activity.