Agitation is one of the more difficult challenges of dementia, and can be incredibly complex for family members to manage. It is important to take steps to deal with agitation before it’s felt and expressed by the senior loved one, which involves monitoring what has caused these feelings in the past, and creating a home environment in which those stimulants are eliminated or minimized. These pointers can help:
- Designate an area of retreat. When life starts to become overwhelming, having a specially-created place for the senior to go to de-stress often works wonders in restoring peace. This could be a specific room, or simply a comfortable corner with several soothing activities easily available, quiet music, a relaxing scent to enjoy such as lavender or vanilla – whatever offers peace and relaxation for the individual.
- Evaluate the home for upsetting objects. Take note of exactly 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 do not adequately block out the darkening evening sky (prompting sundowning issues), etc.
- Minimize noise and other distractions. Soft carpeting is often more soothing for those with dementia than harder floor materials that could reverberate or accentuate the sound of footsteps. Keep the television or radio at a minimal volume, and set to a station that plays soft music as opposed to alarming, graphic news presentations. Close windows if outside noises appear to lead to annoyance.
- Change lighting. Be sure that each room the senior may enter is well lit, with natural light whenever feasible, or higher wattage lightbulbs, carefully adjusting to eliminate any unusual shapes or shadows caused by the light.
- Keep commonly used items readily available. Whatever the older adult has a tendency to want to use or hold frequently should be put in a visible location where he or she can find it conveniently. Adding labels with words or pictures of what the senior may want to find in cabinets or the refrigerator can also be a great way to help avoid irritation.
Let the caregivers at CareWorks Health Services help preserve the most calming and peaceful environment for an older adult you care for. CareWorks can help provide the skilled, innovative, compassionate care that makes life the best it can be. Some of the ways in which we are able to enhance life for individuals with dementia include:
- Specifically-created activities based upon an individual’s interests and abilities
- Companionship in order to help seniors stay socially engaged
- Evening respite care, allowing family caregivers the chance for a restful night when a loved one is challenged by sundowning
- And much more
Give us a call at (949) 859-4700 to ask about a free in-home consultation and to find out more about our outstanding dementia care today! Providers of expert senior and dementia care in Huntington Beach are just a phone call away. See our full service area.