Coping with agitation in Alzheimer’s can be very frustrating for both a senior with dementia, and his or her family members. One of the keys is in taking steps to handle agitation before it’s felt and expressed by the senior loved one, which involves keeping an eye on what has triggered these feelings in the past, and establishing a home environment where those triggers are eliminated or reduced. The following tips can help:
- Designate a place of retreat. When life starts to get overwhelming, having a specially created area for your loved one to go to de-stress can work wonders in restoring peace. This could be a designated room, or simply a comfortable corner with a number of soothing activities readily available, quiet music, a calming scent to enjoy like lavender or vanilla – whatever produces peace and relaxation for the older adult.
- Evaluate the home for upsetting objects. Take note of what your family member is easily agitated by, such as certain decorations, mirrors (which can give the illusion of somebody else watching), window coverings that may not adequately block out the darkening evening sky (prompting sundowning issues), etc.
- Reduce noise and other distractions. Soft carpeting is frequently more soothing for those with dementia than harder floor materials that can reverberate or accentuate the noise of footsteps. Keep the TV or radio at a reduced volume, and set to a station that plays soft music rather than alarming, graphic news shows. Close windows if outside noises appear to result in annoyance.
- Modify lighting. Be sure that each room the senior may enter is well lit, with natural light whenever possible, or higher wattage lightbulbs, very carefully adjusting to reduce any unusual shapes or shadows created by the light.
- Keep commonly used items readily accessible. Whatever the older adult has a tendency to want to use or hold frequently ought to be placed in a visible location where he or she can locate it quickly. Adhering labels with words or pictures of what a senior loved one may want to find in cabinets or the refrigerator is also an excellent way to help prevent irritation.
Let Atlanta Home Care Partners’ knowledgeable dementia caregivers help preserve the most calming and peaceful environment for a senior you love, and provide the skilled, innovative, compassionate care that makes life the very best it can be. Some of the various ways we can improve life for individuals with dementia include:
- Specially created activities centered on a senior’s specific interests and abilities
- Companionship to help seniors stay socially engaged
- Evening respite care allowing family caregivers the chance for a restful night when a senior is challenged by sundowning
- And much more