Dementia changes how your senior sees the world. Unfortunately, that does not mean she can communicate what she is experiencing with you. How she ends up responding to certain situations and triggering events after dementia might be through becoming agitated and upset. Reducing agitation is not always as easy as you might hope it would be.
Be Aware of Possible Triggers
Some seniors with dementia are sensitive to triggering situations. Things like too much noise or activity, being tired, or experiencing other discomforts can all function as triggers. Sometimes a memory can trigger agitation, too. You may not be able to avoid every single possible trigger, but as you gain experience it becomes easier to dodge most of them.
Make Sure Basic Needs Are Met
Managing your senior’s basic needs is the best way to avoid most triggers that could spark a problem for her. Discomfort, pain, and other basic issues are all potential problems. Other issues to watch out for can include a need for the bathroom, thirst, hunger, or simply being exhausted. Try going through a mental checklist to see what works and what doesn’t.
Try Keeping Things Simple and Calm
People who have dementia tend to thrive in calm, simple environments. The more complicated that life and situations around your senior are, the more likely she is to experience greater instances of agitation. There may be times when you cannot really control what is happening around your elderly family member. When you can, that is when you have an opportunity to really help her to feel as calm as possible.
Address the Situation with Her Doctor
You may still run into issues, even if you have been doing all that you can think of to help your senior. It might be time to talk to her doctor about what you are seeing and what is happening. It’s possible that you’re overlooking a trigger or that there is an underlying medical cause for what’s going on. You may find that solving the medical problem, even if that means changing medications, makes a world of difference for your senior.
This type of problem-solving can get exhausting very quickly for your senior and for you as her caregiver. Remember to take care of yourself while you’re also working to solve this situation for your senior. When you are exhausted, you’re going to have a more difficult time helping your elderly family member to cope.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Howell, NJ, contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care’s Ocean/Monmouth Division. Call today 732-719-7011.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.
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