Watching a senior loved one develop dementia is not easy for family members. However, caregivers experience additional stress when trying to address agitation, which is common in seniors with dementia. There are various methods you can use to make the situation better for both of you.
1. Determine the Underlying Cause
Finding a possible cause or pattern as to when agitation begins can help you create a plan to deter the symptoms. If your loved one is able to express the issue, encourage him or her to do so. Consider physical factors that might include:
- General fatigue due to disruption of sleep
- Physical pain
- Constipation or illness
- A need to use the bathroom
- Hearing or vision impairment
- Medication side effects
- Hallucinations caused by neuronal changes
Is your loved one frustrated because you are providing too much help? Is he or she depressed or grieving due to the progression of the disease? Affected seniors become frustrated when they can no longer process information to understand what is expected of them. Your loved one may become frightened because he or she no longer recognises his or her surroundings, or perhaps he or she remembers an unpleasant past situation. Does the behaviour occur at certain times during the day or during specific situations? Maybe your loved one is simply bored. See if a pattern emerges.
Ageing in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional in-home dementia care. Newcastle, NSW, families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our care workers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.
2. Offer Reassurance
Express compassion in a soothing voice, offer a consoling hug if possible, and allow your loved one to express his or her emotions. Sometimes a gentle touch is all it takes to diffuse the tension. If your loved one can verbally communicate his or her concern, no matter how strange the issue might be, tell him or her you understand and are willing to help remedy the situation.
3. Use Diversion Techniques
Sometimes rather than confronting the behaviour, diverting attention to another activity can dispel the situation. Consider playing your loved one’s favourite music, asking him or her to help you do a simple chore, or offering a healthy snack.
Older adults with dementia may need help managing basic household chores. 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, an in-home care provider Newcastle, NSW, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
4. Be Patient
Seniors with dementia often become agitated when feeling rushed or forced into doing something. You may need to slow down and let your loved one accomplish the task at his or her own pace. Before beginning an activity, explain what is going to happen step by step in a calm tone. If noise or the presence of too many people seems to be causing confusion or fear, go to another room.
5. Defeat Boredom
Pacing and wandering are common behaviours in seniors with dementia. If you cannot find any underlying cause for the symptom, perhaps your loved one merely needs an activity to preoccupy his or her mind or to expel restless energy. Maybe go for a walk around the block to look for birds, squirrels, and flowers. Create crafts together, or dance to your loved one’s favourite music. Let him or her help with household chores by dusting or vacuuming. By being physically active during the day, your loved one is more likely to sleep better at night.
Dementia is one of the most serious medical conditions older adults are susceptible to. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Newcastle seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your elderly loved one, reach out to Home Care Assistance at (02) 4089 3000 today.