Methods for Calming an Elderly Parent Living with Dementia

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When seniors with dementia become confused or overwhelmed, they’ll sometimes lash out at their family caregivers. While that type of behavior can be overwhelming, there are a few simple steps you can take to quickly calm your aging loved one. You might also be able to avoid some of these outbursts entirely by identifying and removing certain triggers.

Hear Your Loved One Out

In many cases, seniors with dementia become agitated when they feel like they’re being ignored. If your loved one’s mood suddenly changes, you might want to spend a moment hearing him or her out. Listening and responding to your loved one’s concerns could completely change his or her demeanor. You can also place a hand on your loved one’s shoulder or put your arm around him or her if he or she is comfortable with these types of gestures. Once your loved one has calmed down, you can then try to figure out exactly what caused the behavior. 

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. Fort Myers 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.

Check for Irritants and Triggers

Dementia affects some of the areas of the brain responsible for processing external stimuli, which is why seniors with dementia often become confused or combative when they’re exposed to bright lights or loud noises. Whenever you notice any aggression, you should check the environment for irritants that might be confusing your loved one. Some of the most common triggers include mirrors, moving shadows, flashing lights, crowds, and noisy electronics. 

Make Sure Your Loved One Isn’t in Pain

Dementia is a unique disorder that can make it very difficult for seniors to express what they’re feeling. Your loved one might be lashing out simply because he or she is in pain or has developed an undiagnosed medical condition. In addition to regularly checking for visible cuts and bruises, you must also schedule checkups every few months. During these checkups, the doctor will be able to identify and address minor health problems before they become serious complications. 

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

Shift Your Loved One’s Attention

One of the most effective ways to manage an aggressive senior with dementia is to use distraction. As soon your loved one becomes angry or irritated, try to give him or her something else to focus on. Asking a question or playing a favorite song could make your loved one forget why he or she was angry in the first place. You can also have your loved one carry out a simple household chore or start a relaxing activity, such as doing a puzzle. 

Remove Yourself from the Situation

If you’re the reason your loved one is agitated, leaving the room for a few minutes could be your best option. After spending countless hours with your loved one, a few squabbles and arguments are sure to happen. In those situations, you might need to separate entirely. As long as your loved one is in a safe and comfortable environment, he or she will most likely calm down independently. You can also turn on his or her favorite TV or radio program before you leave the room.

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 Fort Myers at-home 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. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. To create a customized dementia home care plan for your loved one, call 239.449.4701 today.