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How to Use Distraction in Alzheimer’s Care

By Home Care Assistance, 8:00 am on

As a trusted Vancouver Alzheimer’s care provider, we know one of the greatest challenges in caring for a senior loved one with the disease is a lack of caregiver control, particularly in regards to aggressive or otherwise negative behaviors. Fortunately, family caregivers can change the outcomes of unwelcome episodes by simply altering their own behaviors. Instituting a different, unexpected and even distracting response to an episode gives caregivers a little more power in how things turn out.

Dealing with Aggression

It is not uncommon for seniors with Alzheimer’s to exhibit signs of suspicion and aggression. In these instances, they may become fixated on items that they believe have been lost or stolen. Offering a senior family member a favorite treat is a great way to eliminate the fixation. It is also a good idea to gently lead the individual into another part of the home so that the lost or “stolen” item is forgotten entirely.

Introduce a New Subject

Attempting to reason with a person who remains stalwart in his or her opinions or ideas is rarely effective, especially if this individual is in or nearing the late stages of Alzheimer’s. It is far better to bring up a subject that this person is particularly interested in, and to then let this individual guide the conversation. Not only will this divert his or her attention, but it will also reestablish the sense of control that many seniors with Alzheimer’s need.

When Distraction Doesn’t Work

Changing a person’s focus is a great way to alleviate tension, aggression and suspicion. Using distraction, however, is not the best way to resolve negative behaviors when you need your loved one to focus on the task at hand.

For instance, if you are dispensing medication and your family member becomes obstinate or aggressive, it is important to gently encourage him or her to focus and to explain why taking the medication is important. In fact, you want to make sure that outside distractions are limited during these times. This means turning the television off or lowering the volume and taking other steps to limit outside noise. Creating a calm, soothing environment will draw your family member’s focus towards the task that requires his or her attention.

Getting Help with Care

If you care for an aging parent or loved one, it’s important to know that there are resources available to assist you with your care responsibilities. Vancouver Home Care Assistance is preferred by countless families in need of Alzheimer’s care, offering highly trained Alzheimer’s caregivers, flexible care schedules, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee with all care services. Our Alzheimer’s caregivers can effectively manage a senior loved one’s changes in mood, while also giving you tips for how to best ensure his or her safety, comfort and quality of life. To request more information about Alzheimer’s home care, call 778-279-3634 and schedule your complimentary, no-obligation consultation.