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How Do You Calm A Person With Dementia

Do Offer Assurance Often

Pacing or Searching? How to help your Person with Dementia Calm Down

Many times, people with dementia may experience feelings of isolation, fear, loneliness or confusion. They may not be able to express this in the right way and thus may wander off or keep saying that they want to go back home, especially if they are in a senior living facility. This is not the time to shut them out. Its a good idea to assure them that they are safe and in a good place.

If you are close enough, provide a comforting hug every once in a while and remind them that they are in a place that has their best interest at heart. Where possible, engage in exercise or take a walk as even light physical activity may help to reduce agitation, restlessness and anxiety.

What Stage Of Dementia Is Incontinence

Toileting & Late Stage Dementia Loss of bladder control due to an inability to get to the bathroom or use it properly is defined as functional incontinence. Late stage Alzheimers is marked by the loss of ability to respond to the environment as well as a loss of ability to communicate and express needs.

How Do You Calm Down Someone With Dementia

November 9, 2018 by Harmony Caregiving

Aging in itself is confusing for seniors. Going through rapid changes in the body and the way people respond to those changes in their loved ones has the client with dementia unsure of what they can and cannot do. Dementia adds to the chaos that crumbles the lives of many senior citizens. Dementia affects the mind the most. Though the cognitive abilities might still be working fine, the ability to recognize names, faces, words or familiar settings start getting damaged from the first stage of dementia. Think about it. Remember the times when you bet you knew a certain word or the name of an actor but couldnt find it in your memory? How frustrating was that? In the case of dementia, this is an everyday thing with almost every memory. The worst part, its not the actors they are not recognizing its the people that they have grown old around and places they have been heir whole life. This increasing confusion and inability to remember things can agitate anyone. In those moments of agitation, an elder with dementia needs your support, reassurance, and redirection so they can calm down.

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What Is The Life Expectancy Of Someone With Dementia

Studies suggest that, on average, someone will live around ten years following a dementia diagnosis. However, this can vary significantly between individuals, some people living for more than twenty years, so its important to try not to focus on the figures and to make the very most of the time left.

What Are Good Activities For Dementia Patients

Caregiver Tips: How to Calm Agitated Adults

Suggested Stimulating Activities for AlzheimersBake or cook simple recipes together.Clean around the house. Do arts and crafts, such as knitting and painting. Look at books the person used to enjoy.Organize household or office items, particularly if the person used to take pleasure in organizational tasks.More items

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Do Dementia Patients Know What They Are Saying

These communication hiccups happen all the time to most people, but dementia affects the brain so that language problems become more noticeable. Someone with Alzheimers, for instance, wont remember phrases, or be able to learn new phrases. Slang and common expressions become hard or even impossible to remember.

Exercise And Outdoor Activities For Dementia

Exercise and outdoor activities can have numerous benefits for people with dementia. They can help improve brain function and thinking skills, regulate their sleep, and can help maintain a positive mood in dementia patients and lower the risk of them developing depression. Physical activities help overall cardiac and breathing health as well.

Exercise and outdoor activities dementia patients can engage in include:

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Impose Order On Daytime Sleeping

Policing daytime sleeping can help to prevent sundowning by robbing the potential sundowner from the extra energy they need to reach an agitated and confused state. Simply put, you want your relative to be sleepy at the right time of day, which is night time. If you relative is falling asleep in the early morning or midday, its acceptable to give them a little bit of caffeine.

Stage : Mild Cognitive Impairment

03 Calming & Comforting a Person Living with Dementia with Teepa Snow

Clear cognitive problems begin to manifest in stage 3. A few signs of stage 3 dementia include:

  • Getting lost easily
  • Noticeably poor performance at work
  • Forgetting the names of family members and close friends
  • Difficulty retaining information read in a book or passage
  • Losing or misplacing important objects
  • Difficulty concentrating

Patients often start to experience mild to moderate anxiety as these symptoms increasingly interfere with day to day life. Patients who may be in this stage of dementia are encouraged to have a clinical interview with a clinician for proper diagnosis.

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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.

Coping With Feelings As A Carer Of Someone With Dementia

  • Feel the pain â allow yourself to really feel what you are feeling. Denying the feelings only intensifies and prolongs the pain.
  • Cry â tears can be therapeutic.
  • Talk â share the pain to help diminish grief. It can be helpful to talk to a person outside the family, such as a counsellor.
  • Keep a journal â a private place where anything can be written, including unfulfilled wishes, guilt, anger or other thoughts and feelings.
  • Let go. Try not to be engulfed by bitterness.
  • Find comfort. Different people have different ways to find comfort, including using rituals like prayer, meditation or other activities.
  • Hold off on decisions. Tread carefully before making decisions and thoroughly explore all options before you take any major steps.
  • Be kind to yourself, be patient with your feelings, and find a balance between the happy and sad person, the angry and peaceful, the guilty and glad.
  • Learn to laugh again and rediscover your sense of humour. Finding joy in life can be one way to honour the happy times that you used to share with the person you are caring for.

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Decide On Future Financial And Medical Plans With The Patient

It is important to get clarity on how to cope as time progresses and the dementia worsens. You should have clear plans worked out on who will manage the banking and financial affairs of the individual. Share your number with the utility company, informing them of the condition of your loved one, so that power supply or heating isnt cut off if they forget to pay their bills. Also do the difficult task of discussing which medical treatments they would prefer not to be subjected to, should the need arise at a future date.15 This legal document is known as an advance care directive and details what health decisions can be made on their behalf if they are no longer capable of doing so.16

Rummaging And Hiding Things

How Do You Calm Down Someone with Dementia?

Caring for a patient who rummages around or hides things in the home can be a challenge, but not an insurmountable one.

Rummaging/hiding things behavior management
Protecting property
Lock certain rooms or cabinets to protect their contents, and lock up all valuables.
Have mail delivered out of reach of your loved oneperhaps to a post office box.
If items do disappear, learn the persons preferred hiding places.
Restrict access to trashcans, and check all wastebaskets before disposing of their contents in case objects have been hidden there.
Protecting your loved one from harm
Prevent access to unsafe substances, such as cleaning products, alcohol, firearms, power tools, sharp knives, and medications.
Block unused electrical outlets with childproofing devices. Hide stove knobs so the person cant turn on the burners.
Lower the temperature on water heaters.
Designate a special drawer of items that the person can safely play with when keen to rummage.

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What Do You Say To Someone With Dementia Who Wants To Go Home

5 things to remember when someone with dementia is asking to go homeAvoid arguing about whether they are already home Reassure them of their safety. Try diverting the conversation. Establish whether or not they are feeling unhappy or lonely. Keep a log of when they are asking to go home. 245 comments.

Know Where To Find Help

As your loved ones disease progresses, you may need additional support and help providing adequate memory care. Preparing for this reality in advance is beneficial to both you and your senior loved one. Trained assisted living professionals are able to meet the unique needs of Alzheimers and dementia patients.

To learn more about memory care and how specialized care can help, please call ComfortCare Home of Wichita at 444-0532.

Additional Resources

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How Do You Respond To A Dementia Patient

Ten Tips for Communicating with a Person with DementiaSet a positive mood for interaction. Get the persons attention. State your message clearly. Ask simple, answerable questions. Listen with your ears, eyes, and heart. Break down activities into a series of steps. When the going gets tough, distract and redirect.More items

Why Do Dementia Patients Say Help Me

DO NOT Say CALM DOWN! (What to Say Instead!) “What *NOT* To Do in Dementia”

This is a common phrase issued by people living with dementia. Many times, they are scared and confused and this is their way of communicating to others that something isnt right, they need help working through the changes and differences they are feeling as their brain isnt working the way it used to.

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Help Them Stay Organized But Without Doing Everything For Them

Having a nighttime routine also helps with sleep problems that some seniors with dementia encounter. Doctors suggest non-drug options to manage sleep issues in those with dementia-related sleeping issues. The right room temperature, comfortable bedding, nightwear, and a soft light that isnt too dark can help. So can reading or listening to music to wind down instead of television or a drink which can act as a stimulant and disrupt sleep.9

A person with dementia may need help with their daily tasks and life which theyd managed alone until now. Having a set routine can help. Dont do everything for them though it might make them feel unwanted or useless. Instead, have them do things with you or assist with little jobs around the house. If tasks seem daunting, break it down into simpler steps for them. You could even use notes or little posters at critical locations to help them remember what to do or how to do something.10

Do Try To Be Forgiving And Patient

Do not forget that dementia is the condition that results in irrational behavior and causes dementia sufferers to act the way they do. The patients demand plenty of patience and forgiveness from the people looking after them. Have the heart to let things go instead of carrying grudges around for something that the patient may not be in control of.

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Do Dementia Patients Feel Bored

Yes, just like everyone else, dementia patients may feel bored from time to time. Unfortunately, when they are no longer able to plan their own activities, the boredom may easily turn to frustration. The person may become agitated and start wandering the house, simply because his/her mind has been idle for too long. Activities that will keep dementia patients busy and engaged can help get rid of boredom.

Keep Up Social Connections Just 10 Minutes A Day Can Help

How To Calm Down A Dementia Patient

Things like music therapy or just playing some pleasing, quiet music, a massage, or exercise can help the mood and behavior of some people with dementia. Unfortunately, the research on these alternative therapies is not far-reaching enough to suggest them as treatment or therapy for dementia patients, but you could see if these work for your loved one.11

Encourage people to visit and meet with the patient. Sometimes the embarrassment or fear of others seeing the changed behavior, personality, and memory of the individual can be discouraging when it comes to having visitors. Overcome this, because these relationships are crucial. Keep up their routines and hobbies and interests as much as possible. If they were a weekly church-goer, go to church with them. If they liked walking in the park every evening, they should continue to do so, but with someone to help them if they forget their way home. Keep up as much of a semblance of normalcy as you can. As one study found, the impact this can have is huge! Researchers found that dementia patients who indulged in as little as 60 minutes of conversation every week which translates to an average of 8.5 minutes a day saw reduced agitation levels. This also cut down the perception of pain they were living with.12

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Aggression And Agitation In Dementia

Behavioral and psychological symptoms are very common in dementia, and affect up to 90% of people living with dementia. In addition to memory changes, people with dementia may experience agitation, psychosis, anxiety, depression, and apathy. These behavioral symptoms often lead to greater distress than memory changes.

When people with dementia become agitated or aggressive, doctors often prescribe medications to control their behaviors in spite of the known risks of serious side effects. The most frequently prescribed medication classes for agitation in dementia carry serious risks of falls, heart problems, stroke, and even death.

Caregivers, who often experience burnout in managing aggressive behaviors, welcome medications that can temporarily decrease agitation. Unfortunately, aggressive and agitated behavior often contributes to the decision to transition a loved one to an alternative living situation.

No Easy Solutions But Improvement Is Usually Possible

As many of you know, behavior problems are difficult in dementia in large part because there is usually no easy way to fix them.

Many probably too many older adults with Alzheimers and other dementias are being medicated for their behavior problems.

If your family is struggling with behavior problems, I know that reading this article will not quickly solve them.

But I hope this information will enable you to make more informed decisions. This way youll help ensure that any medications are used thoughtfully, in the lowest doses necessary, and in combination with non-drug dementia behavior management approaches.

To learn about non-drug management approaches, I recommend this article: 7 Steps to Managing Difficult Dementia Behaviors

And if you are looking for a memory care facility, try to find out how many of their residents are being medicated for behavior. For people with Alzheimers and other dementias, its best to be cared for by people who dont turn first to chemical restraints such as antipsychotics and benzodiazepines.

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What Drugs Are Used To Calm Dementia Patients

Many different drugs are used to calm individuals with dementia and their symptoms, with medication regimens based on the type of dementia each individual has. Some of the most common include painkillers like buprenorphine, antipsychotic medications and benzodiazepines.

There is no cure for dementia and, as a progressive disease, it gets worse over time, often resulting in mood swings, anxiety, anger or other emotions that are hard for individuals and their families to deal with.

But that doesnt mean you have to deal with frustration and other difficult emotions without help. There are many ways to calm individuals with dementia and help them find the support they need for a happy, productive life and ease the stress on their family and friends.

Medication is just one of those techniques, and its often combined with other tools, such as music therapy, to create a calm, positive environment.

Helpful Tips For Caregivers

Aggressive Behavior in People with Dementia | Linda Ercoli, PhD | UCLAMDChat

To decrease agitation and aggression with dementia, caregivers can help their loved ones in the following ways:

  • Find a multidisciplinary team of specialists. This may include a psychiatrist to carefully consider the risks and benefits of medications for managing behavior, a geriatrician to optimize your loved ones medical situations, and an occupational therapist to consider modifications of a persons living environment and daily routine.
  • Go for a walk or on an outing for a change of scenery. Physical activity has additional benefits on , and .
  • Add massage and touch therapy, or just provide a calming hand massage.
  • Incorporate music into your loved ones daily routine.
  • Notice the first signs of agitation. Nondrug options work best the earlier they are used.
  • Get creative: discover what works and try using different senses. Aromatherapy, an activity such as folding laundry, brushing hair, or dancing can all be calming.
  • Consult with your physicians. Medications are often prescribed as first-line interventions despite what we know about the effectiveness of nondrug options.
  • Educate all the people caring for your loved one on the interventions that work best, and check in with them about how these approaches are working.

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