Feelings of aggression, anxiety, and agitation are common in older adults with dementia. The progressive disorder disrupts brain functioning and impacts the way seniors react to specific people and situations. However, family caregivers can use the following techniques to calm their senior loved ones and reduce combativeness in the future.
1. Speak Calmly
Negative tones, words, and gestures can increase anger and aggression in a senior with dementia. Speak calmly with your loved one and remain patient, no matter how challenging the situation is. You don’t want your parent to mimic the negative behavior. If he or she does, the situation could escalate. When addressing a problem, use a clear tone but avoid yelling.
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. Kingwood 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. Remove Stressors
A calm and soothing environment could reduce behavioral problems in older adults with dementia. If there’s too much clutter in the room, it could lead to agitation and aggression. However, a home that’s clutter-free and organized could reduce confusion and keep seniors calm. In addition to removing unused items from the house, limit the number of guests who come over each day. Large groups increase fear and irritation in older adults with dementia. Designate one room in the home as your loved one’s safe space where he or she can go for privacy and relaxation.
3. Use Kind Gestures
A smile or a pat on the back could soothe your loved one and reassure him or her that everything will be okay, even during tense situations. The positive energy that accompanies a kind gesture could reduce agitation and distract your loved one’s attention. The objective is to make him or her feel comfortable and alleviate feelings of doubt. Before touching your loved one, always use nonverbal clues to let him or her know your intentions, whether you want to offer a hug or a high-five. The nonverbal clues could make your parent feel more at ease and prevent physical or verbal outbursts.
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 elderly home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
4. Provide Engaging Activities
Distracting your loved one and redirecting his or her attention is easier to do when you involve him or her in purposeful tasks. For example, if your loved one enjoys listening to music, drawing, dancing, or doing arts and crafts, you can use these activities to divert his or her attention away from whatever is causing the negative behavior. Once your loved one is focused on the fun projects, he or she may forget the reason for being upset. It’s best to try enjoyable activities because they’re an effective outlet for positive energy. As your loved one’s abilities change, simplify activities based on his or her physical strengths and cognitive skills.
5. Speak with Your Loved One’s Primary Care Physician
The side effects of some medications could cause pain and discomfort that leads to physical and verbal outbursts. Check your loved one’s comfort levels, especially after he or she has taken prescriptions. If the medicines are causing the combativeness, speak with his or her primary care physician about alternative treatments.
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 Kingwood elder 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 one of our dedicated Care Managers today at 832-412-1345 to learn about the high quality of our in-home dementia care services.