Seniors with dementia may become upset or agitated at various points during each day. When this happens, they may be so upset that they need help calming down before a caregiver can even begin to figure out what’s wrong. These five tips are all soothing ways to help your aging loved one calm down when he or she has a challenging moment.
1. Establish a Connection
No one likes to feel alone when distressed. Once you know your loved one is agitated, make an effort to let him or her know you understand. Try to mimic the emotions in your loved one’s voice to let him or her know you get what he or she is going through. You can also establish a physical connection by standing by your loved one’s side or crouching down to eye level if he or she is sitting. Making eye contact can also help your loved one focus on your face. Once you connect, slowly start using calmer body language, which your loved one may pick up on and begin to relax.
Symptoms such as agitation, confusion, anger, and frustration are common in elderly people with dementia. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Phoenix seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.
2. Look for Visible Clues
Your loved one is most likely responding to something in the environment. Check your parent’s appearance as well as the room to identify possible sources of the irritation. For example, a senior who is wiggling in a chair or tugging at his or her clothing may be bothered by a seam or waistband that’s too tight or need to use the restroom. Alternatively, you may notice the sun is beaming through the window in ways that cast shadows that are frightening to your loved one.
The cognitive challenges that accompany dementia often leave aging adults unable to manage everyday tasks, which puts their safety and health at risk. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
3. Engage in a Physical Activity
Strong emotional reactions may be a sign your loved one is bored or needs to burn off energy. Alternatively, your loved one may need a distraction from his or her thoughts. Physical activities such as going for a walk can take your loved one’s mind off what was bothering him or her. If you suspect pain or discomfort is upsetting your loved one, try giving him or her a massage. The sensations created by your touch may be soothing and alleviate discomfort.
4. Provide Something to Do
Your loved one may be displaying negative emotions out of a desire to spend time with you. If your loved one gets upset when you leave his or her side, provide a task to do while you work nearby. For instance, your loved one may enjoy folding towels or matching socks while you hang up the laundry.
5. Modify the Environment
When you cannot figure out what’s causing your loved one to be upset, you may need to change what you’re doing without knowing why. Try taking your loved one into a different room to see if that calms him or her down. Alternatively, you may switch caregivers to see if that solves the problem. Continuing to try new things can often help seniors with dementia snap out of a bad mood simply by giving them something different to think about.
Caring for a loved one with dementia is a challenging task for anyone. The responsibilities can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Phoenix at-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call us today at 602.388.1085 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.