Caring for a loved one with dementia can feel like a daily battle. Episodes of agitation and aggression are hard to predict. Our caregivers at Dimensions Home Health Care have seen and understand the struggle. We asked our seasoned caregivers who have been providing dementia care in Illinois and Wisconsin to share their strategies for helping agitated patients with dementia. The following are their top suggestions:
- Stay calm.
This seems like a bit of no-brainer advice, but it’s important to keep this in mind. Our human, reactive behavior can be hard to control. It’s easy to lose your own temper when you’re speaking with someone who is agitated or angry.
If you’re feeling frustrated, remember to pause and take a deep breath before taking on the challenging behavior.
- Stop and slow down.
It’s easy to get into a strict schedule or routines in caring for a patient with dementia. Routines are good. But, don’t forget to pause and listen to what your patient is saying. Try to be flexible and slow down to appreciate the thoughts and feelings of the patient in each moment.
Don’t bombard the patient with words or ideas, as these can cause more agitation and confusion. Use simple language and a gentle tone when speaking.
- Simplify the space.
Your patient’s agitated behavior could be caused by a sense of overwhelm. Clutter in the surroundings can be overstimulating. Always aim to simplify the environment. The moment you spot signs of agitation, try moving your senior to a decluttered, quieter space.
Similar to a newborn who can’t communicate a problem or discomfort, a senior with dementia may not know exactly what is causing their agitation or how to fix it. Remember that a patient with dementia is not giving you a hard time; the patient is having a hard time.
If you are caring for a loved one with dementia, consider our trusted home health care services. We offer dementia care in Gurnee, Illinois and surrounding areas. Call us to learn more about how we can help you with senior care, respite care, skilled nursing care, or advanced wound care. Be sure to check out our blog regularly and follow us on Facebook for more helpful information!