Agitation is among the more challenging effects of Alzheimer’s disease, and may be extremely hard for family members to handle. The important thing is in taking steps to tackle agitation before it’s felt and conveyed by the older adult, which involves keeping an eye on what has brought about these feelings in the past, and creating a home environment where those triggers are eliminated or minimized. These guidelines can help when caring for parents with dementia:
- Designate a place of retreat. When life starts to be stressful, having a specially created location for your loved one to go to de-stress often works wonders in restoring peace. This could be a designated room, or merely a comfortable corner with several soothing activities conveniently available, quiet music, a relaxing scent to enjoy such as lavender or vanilla – whatever supplies peace and relaxation when it comes to the older adult.
- Assess the home for upsetting items. Pay attention to exactly what your family member is easily agitated by, such as particular decorations, mirrors (which can give the illusion of somebody else watching), window coverings that do not effectively block out the darkening evening sky (prompting sundowning issues), etc.
- Reduce noise along with other distractions. Soft carpeting is often more soothing for people with dementia than harder floor materials, which can reverberate or accentuate the sound of footsteps. Keep the television or radio at a low volume, and set to a station that offers gentle music instead of alarming, graphic news shows. Close windows if outside noises seem to lead to discomfort.
- Change lighting. Make sure each room a senior loved one may enter is effectively lit, with natural light whenever feasible, or higher wattage lightbulbs, carefully adjusting to get rid of any abnormal shapes or shadows caused by the light.
- Keep regularly used items readily accessible. Whatever the older adult tends to want to use or hold regularly ought to be placed in a prominent location where he or she can find it quickly. Adhering labels with words or pictures of what the senior may want to find in cabinets or even the refrigerator can be a terrific way to help avoid aggravation.
Let Midnight Sun Home Care’s skilled dementia caregivers help maintain the most calming and peaceful environment for a senior you love, and provide the skilled, creative, compassionate care which makes life the very best it can be. Some of the many ways we can enhance life for individuals with dementia include:
- Specially created activities based upon a senior’s specific interests and abilities
- Companionship in order to help seniors stay socially engaged
- Evening respite care allowing family caregivers the opportunity for a restful night when a cherished older adult is challenged by sundowning
- And so much more