Seniors who have dementia often experience episodes of agitation as their condition progresses. Impaired cognitive functioning leads the older individual into falsely perceiving reality, which oftentimes can lead to aberrant behavior. If you provide home care for a senior loved one with dementia, recognizing factors that may be triggering agitation can help you implement strategies that can provide feelings of safety and prevent or diminish the behaviors.
Agitation in older adults with dementia is often triggered by physical factors. Fatigue can precipitate events, and people who consume foods and drinks that contain caffeine or high amounts of sugar tend to experience an increase in agitation. If a senior is suffering from insomnia, the physician may want to prescribe sleep medication.
Maintaining a Stable Environment
Changes in the normal routine or in the physical environment may be upsetting to an elderly person with dementia and precipitate a disturbance. Keeping a tight, regular schedule and minimizing physical changes in the home can help keep negative episodes at bay. If a senior is prone to bouts of agitation, dangerous objects should be kept hidden or out of reach.
Provide Calming Diversions
Reacting to agitation in a calm manner is the best approach to defusing the event. Offering to take the senior on a walk or turning on soothing music can encourage peace. A simple action such as giving the older adult a favorite snack may quickly end the behavior.
When caring for an elderly individual who is experiencing agitation, caregivers may feel compelled to react by restraining the person or arguing with him or her. Negative reactions tend to escalate agitation and may push the older adult into violent behavior. Caregivers can reassure individuals that they are safe and acknowledge their anger without validating the false perceptions that the seniors are experiencing.
If caring for your loved one is becoming too difficult to handle alone, know that help is available. Home Care Assistance of Vancouver is a leading provider of senior care that specializes in dementia and memory care. Our highly trained and compassionate caregivers provide dementia care in Vancouver and surrounding communities and can help ensure safety, comfort and quality of life for your loved one, while you can take the time to rest and recharge. For more information or to request a complimentary, no-obligation dementia consultation, call 778-279-3634 today.