How Do You Calm a Senior with Dementia?

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When seniors with dementia feel flustered or overwhelmed, they might quickly become aggressive or belligerent, which is why family caregivers must spend some time familiarizing themselves with at least a few tactics they can use to manage combative and potentially violent behavior. Here’s a look at some simple tricks that can help you calm a confused or angry aging loved one with dementia. 

Come Up with Some Distractions

One of the easiest and most effective ways to deescalate an intense situation with a senior who has dementia is to use distractions. Every senior is slightly different, and you might need to try out a few different distractions before you find something that works for your loved one. For some caregivers, turning on a television show or movie is very effective. You can also ask your loved one to complete a chore or do a simple task such as folding a few pieces of clothing. 

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. Lincoln 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.

Acknowledge Your Loved One’s Feelings

Many caregivers make the mistake of arguing with hostile seniors, and that tactic rarely works. Arguing is likely to escalate the situation, and your loved one could become physically violent if you continue to debate. As an alternative, try to hear your loved one out and acknowledge what he or she is saying. A few soft words and a friendly touch might immediately change your loved one’s demeanor. 

Step Out of the Room if Necessary

In some instances, you could be the reason your loved one is so agitated. If the aggression seems to be directed at you and nothing else, you’ll probably need to leave your loved one alone for a few minutes. As long as your loved one is in a safe and comfortable environment, giving him or her some alone time might be the best solution. Before you step out of the room, make sure your loved one doesn’t have access to any potentially dangerous items, such as cooking knives or medications. 

Make Sure Your Loved One Isn’t in Pain

Many seniors with dementia have difficulty telling others when they’re in pain, and ongoing discomfort could impact their emotions. They might constantly lash out if they’re experiencing lingering injuries or some type of untreated medical issues. In addition to scheduling regular appointments with his or her primary doctor, you should also check your loved one for visible wounds at least a few times a month. 

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 senior care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Remove Unnecessary Stimuli

Certain stimuli could be overwhelming for your loved one, and that input might trigger aggression. Whenever you notice your loved one’s mood changing, look around the area to see if anything might be bothering him or her. For many seniors with dementia, electronics such as TVs and computers can be troublesome. Some other potential triggers you should keep an eye out for include bright lights, mirrors, moving shadows, noisy radios, and moving fans. 

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 Lincoln home care service 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. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (916) 226-3737 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services. 


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