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How to Calm an Aging Parent with Dementia

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Dementia can cause seniors to experience confusion, sadness, hallucinations, and other behavioral issues. During challenging times, family caregivers may have to manage aggressive and violent behavior from their elderly loved ones. However, caregivers can use some of the tips mentioned below to calm a loved one with dementia.

Create a Solution

Pacing is common for aging adults living with dementia. They may pace because they’re hungry, thirsty, in pain, or need to use the restroom. Instead of talking about the issue, your loved one may walk around the room or up and down the stairs. When this happens, determine why your parent is pacing and offer an effective solution. For example, if you believe your loved one is tired and restless, guide him or her to the bedroom and suggest taking a nap. Make sure the room is quiet and comfortable. Your loved one may be confused and anxious, but understanding what is causing the pacing and hysteria and providing a solution may calm the situation.

Family caregivers should provide care based on their loved one’s daily needs, especially if he or she has dementia or another age-related disease. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same home care services. Wellesley families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Play Calming Music

Frustration is a common emotion seniors with dementia experience, especially as brain health continues to decrease and prevents them from performing daily tasks. When your parent becomes irate and agitated, calm him or her down by playing soothing music. Music can spark memories and feelings of the past, which boosts mood. Some songs may encourage your loved one to sing, dance, and perform other actions that bring happiness. Remember to keep the volume low when playing the music. Loud sounds can cause undue stress and increase agitation or disorientation in seniors with dementia.

Seniors might need help with daily chores or encouragement to stay happy after a dementia diagnosis. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Wellesley seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

Look for Missing Items

It’s normal for seniors with dementia to lose or hide objects from time to time. When this happens, they often accuse family and friends of stealing from them. However, the way family caregivers respond to these accusations can make a tense situation worse, or the response could calm an aging adult with dementia. If your loved one has misplaced an object or personal belonging, help him or her find what he or she is looking for. Don’t accuse your parent of losing or hiding the object. Instead, reassure him or her that you’re there to help. The objective is to eliminate stress and recover the missing items.

Offer Meaningful Activities

Engaging in meaningful activities can keep your loved one busy and allow him or her to focus attention on something fun and safe. Touch-based activities are a great way to calm a senior’s nerves and reduce anxiety. Some meaningful activities that may distract your loved one and calm him or her down include:

• Reading 

• Cooking 

• Doing arts and crafts 

• Cleaning

Older adults with dementia require daily assistance to boost mental health and wellbeing. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care. Wellesley Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. To schedule a free in-home consultation, get in touch with us today at (781) 239-0060.

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