Dementia affects many areas of the brain, which can make it difficult for seniors to process their emotions. Seniors with dementia often experience outbursts that can be distressing for both them and their caregivers. Whether he or she is mad, sad, or anxious, these tips can help you calm down an elderly loved one with dementia.
Maintain a Pleasant and Calm Face
Even seniors with dementia who face difficulty with verbal communication tend to still recognize facial expressions. Having a caregiver who looks relaxed and kind can soothe a lot of outbursts. This may be easier said than done when your loved one is saying cruel things to you, but it’s important to remember the outburst isn’t personal and try to focus on what’s best for your loved one.
Professional caregivers with specialized experience in dementia care understand how to recognize and respond to emotion-driven behavior in seniors with dementia. Although it may be challenging to find reliable, highly rated home care, you can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.
Find the Underlying Cause
Try to really pay attention to your loved one, think carefully about the circumstances, and consider any underlying concerns that might be upsetting him or her. For example, anger over your choosing a sweater for him or her could be caused by worries about a lack of independence. Being able to figure out if some real concern is triggering outbursts means you can address the problem and reassure your loved one.
Easing stress and anxiety is an essential part of caring for your loved one. Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Windermere families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.
Use a Calm Tone of Voice
Just like keeping a happy expression on your face, this tip ensures your loved one feels safe even if he or she doesn’t understand the actual words you’re saying. Trying to speak quietly with a friendly tone may help your loved one realize he or she doesn’t need to be upset.
Create a Calming Environment
Seniors with dementia are more likely to get upset when they feel overwhelmed by their environments. If possible, try to turn off anything noisy or flashy, such as radios, televisions, or novelty lamps. Turn the lights on if the room seems dark or dim the lights in an overly bright room. If your loved one is in an area where you cannot control the environment, you may need to take him or her to a quieter area.
Make Sure Your Loved One Isn’t in Pain
Many seniors with dementia get angry or anxious when they’re in pain because they don’t know how to process the discomfort. If your loved one is prescribed pain medications but is still experiencing pain, it may be a sign he or she needs another. You should also check if your loved one needs to go to the bathroom and make sure his or her clothes aren’t poking or pinching him or her.
Use Reassuring Phrases
To calm your loved one down, try to repeatedly say phrases such as “I’m sorry you’re so upset right now” or “I’ll stay with you and help you feel better.” Just knowing they have someone there can soothe a lot of fear and sorrow for seniors.
Using these methods can help family caregivers reassure and calm aging family members who have dementia. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Orlando Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (407) 232-7155.