Dementia-related agitation can range from benign behaviors such as pacing and repetitive questions to violent outbursts. Luckily, caregivers have options for helping their loved ones regain a sense of calm. Use the following strategies to ease agitation in your loved one so you can get back to enjoying your daily routine together.
Check for a Physical Cause
Agitation is often sparked by something that causes physical discomfort. This reason for agitation is especially common for seniors who have difficulty with oral language because they may try to act out to convey their discomfort. Check if your loved one has had an episode of incontinence or is hungry. If not, clothing may be irritating him or her, or he or she may be tired. Over time, you will likely begin to identify the patterns of behavior your loved one uses to express physical discomfort so you can take action to prevent it.
If you are the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Albuquerque, 24-hour care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
Reduce Environmental Triggers
Your loved one may be responding to aggravating aspects of the environment. For instance, your loved one may begin to pace if hearing an upsetting news story on television gives him or her anxiety. Alternatively, he or she may yell in an attempt to be heard over a blaring television. Spend a few minutes listening and looking around the room your loved one is in to find ways to make it calmer.
If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality in-home care, Albuquerque Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
Use Soothing Language
When your loved one is agitated, using harsh language will do little to help the situation. Try to watch your tone as you respond to agitation. Use a soothing voice and positive language that lets your loved one know you are still in control. Ideally, your loved one will respond by mimicking your calm language and begin to calm down.
Try Switching Activities
The symptoms of dementia may cause your loved one to become frustrated by certain activities. If the agitation seems to have begun out of frustration, ask yourself if the activity you are engaged in can wait. For instance, you could encourage your loved one to take a break from folding towels and help you water the plants in the garden. Shifting activities may take your loved one’s mind off of what is making him or her upset.
Utilize the Power of Touch
While this technique should only be used on seniors who enjoy the sense of touch, a reassuring pat on the arm or hug may be all your loved one needs to feel better. Consider giving your loved one a hand massage before doing an activity you know might generate agitation. Engaging in a relaxing activity that involves the sense of touch could put your loved one in a positive mood that prevents agitated behavior during an event such as a bath.
Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is dementia care Albuquerque families can rely on. Professional dementia caregivers help seniors with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with household chores. Call Home Care Assistance at 505-798-0800 to learn about our home care plans for seniors with dementia.