Understanding the person living with dementia is the "first and fundamental step" in managing their care.
It's also key to addressing the overuse of medication.
That's according to the author of a book looking at the significant benefits of non-pharmacological interventions to address behaviours and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD).
The BPSD Textbook co-authored by the head of Dementia Support Australia (DSA) clinical services Associate Professor Stephen Macfarlane, seeks to get aged care homes and carers to focus on the person living with dementia instead of their behaviours.
The book said up to 90 per cent of people with dementia experience forms of BPSD and many will be wrongly prescribed medications or chemically and physically restrained.
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety report in 2021 identified overuse of psychotropic medication as a significant problem.
DSA is holding free workshops for dementia carers in Burnie and Launceston in February.
The workshops bring top experts and carers together to discuss crucial aspects of dementia care, such as recognising changes in behaviour early and responding appropriately.
Carers will also learn where to seek advice.
"These workshops are for anyone who supports someone living with dementia," DSA head Marie Alford said.
Associate Professor Macfarlane's book said medications prescribed for dementia had a limited response in treating BPSD compared to non-pharmacological options.
BPSD includes psychosis, agitation and aggression, depression, anxiety, apathy, impulsivity, appetite and eating changes, sleep disturbances, distress during personal care and wayfinding difficulties.
Disinhibition is one of the confronting behaviours associated with dementia and may include making offensive comments, talking to strangers as if they know them, taking off clothes or losing sexual inhibitions.
It can be confusing for carers to deal with the behaviours that seem so out of character.
Things like regular walking, dancing and music therapy, or seated exercises can have a positive effect on problem behaviours, such as aggression, wandering, and difficulty sleeping.
Ms Alford said events will be held for family and community carers and healthcare professionals.
"At the events, we are very keen to have service providers and family carers learn more not only through the workshop but from each other," she said.
"One carer who attended a workshop last year told us: 'I sometimes feel I am walking through a minefield alone...hearing others' experiences is harrowing but, in a way, balm for my soul. I know I'm not alone'."
The events are followed by refreshments when carers can ask questions and access more services.
Burnie's event is on February 22 at Burnie Central Townhouse Hotel, 139 Wilson St, Burnie, TAS from 1-4pm, with registrations from 12.45pm.
Launceston's event is on February 21 at Hotel Verge, 50 Tamar Street, TAS, from 2pm-5pm.
Register online for the events here and phone 1800-423-836 for more information.