Caring for a loved one with dementia can be incredibly challenging, both physically and mentally. One of the biggest concerns that both family and care staff face is that of reducing agitation. There are a number of things that can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and agitation. Below we share four things that may help you.
1. Go slower
Remember to slow your pace when walking and talking to your loved one. It is very easy for them to become overwhelmed and confused and this can lead to agitation. Keep movements slow and deliberate and use simple phrases and positive requests that are less confrontational.
2. Try to stay calm
This is probably easier said than done, but staying calm and showing that you are calm can help your loved one to feel much calmer. This is known as mirroring and can have therapeutic benefits in older adults with dementia. Just remember to focus on your breathing, take deep breaths, and if you need to take a step back then do so. We all need time out and this is when many relatives use a dementia respite home care service.
3. Question if they are in pain or discomfort
Sometimes agitation can present itself because the person is in pain or discomfort. They may find communication and expressing how they feel difficult, so you need to be observant and look for clues. Are they unable to sit still? Are they fidgeting? Do they refuse food? The reason may be that they are in pain.
4. A tidy home environment
It is always best to keep the home environment clutter free and as quiet as possible. Doing so will install a sense of calm, reducing any feelings of agitation. Make sure that everything is kept in its place, keep lighting low and add labels to kitchen cupboards and storage boxes. A home help service can help you keep on top of things if you are caring for a loved one while supporting your own family or having to work.
Here at Caring Hands we provide a range of dementia care in Lancashire services, including home help services and live in care. If you would like to know more about how we can help you and your loved one then please do get in touch with us today.