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How To Calm A Dementia Patient

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

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.

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Find Someone Who Can Take Care Of The Pet

Giving away a pet does not necessarily mean surrendering it to a local public animal shelter or animal control. Most dogs end up getting put down there. You can always find a foster home for your pet. Interview several families who are willing to take care of your pet, choose the one that is genuinely inquisitive.

When it comes to giving away a pet, a foster arrangement is always the best option. You will also find rescue groups in your neighborhood who are willing to take care of the pet.

If you are a remote caregiver to a dementia patient you can offer to take the per yourself. That is if you live an hour or more away from your loved one. That way, they wont feel bad about the detachment as they can meet the pet once or twice a week.

Adjust Their Eating Patterns

Adjusting your loved ones eating patterns may also help reduce their sundowning symptoms. Large meals can increase their agitation and may keep them up at night, especially if they consume caffeine or alcohol. Encourage your loved one to avoid those substances or enjoy them at lunch rather than dinner. Limiting their evening food intake to a hearty snack or light meal might help them feel more comfortable and rest easier at night.

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Tips To Reduce Nighttime Restlessness

Improve sleep hygiene. Provide a comfortable bed, reduce noise and light, and play soothing music to help your loved one get to sleep. If they prefer to sleep in a chair or on the couch, make sure they cant fall out while sleeping.

Keep a regular sleep schedule. Be consistent with the time for sleeping and keep the nighttime routine the same. For example, give the person a bath and some warm milk before bed.

Also Check: What Is The Difference Between Alzheimers And Parkinsons

Seizures & Mood Stabilizers

How to Calm a Person With Dementia or Alzheimer

Common Drugs Taken:

  • Valproic acid
  • Uses: May be used to treating aggression. Has a sedative effect on agitated physical and verbal behaviors.
  • Risks and Side Effects: Confusion or worsened thinking, dizziness, difficulty walking or balancing, tremor and the development of other Parkinsonism symptoms, and gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
  • Non-Drug Treatments: Identifying underlying causes, promoting physical and emotional comfort, and changing the environment.

Read Also: What Is The Difference Between Dementia And Senility

Benefits Of Treating Dementia With Medications

While there is no cure for dementia, taking medicine prescribed by a physician can have positive results. First and foremost, medications can help calm individuals suffering from worrisome symptoms like anxiety, depression, and agitation. The right medication can make life easier for family members and friends too, especially those who serve as caregivers. Drugs can also slow the progression of the disease, enhance cognitive function, and improve memory recall.

Nevertheless, it is important for caregivers to be aware that there is no guarantee their friend or family member will respond to the prescribed medication. There is also the possibility that the medications may actually worsen behavioral changes. Should this occur, a medical professional should be contacted immediately.

How To Talk To The Dementia Patient About Taking The Pet Away

Compassion and understanding are key when convincing a dementia patient to acclimate to change. Logic might not work here. So, dont get upset if they brush away or dismiss your well-thought-out arguments.

Let them know that you are on their side. Be soft-spoken. Dont give them a reason to be mad or angry at you. Reassure them that its okay for them to give up their pet because it is beneficial for both parties.

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Do Not Keep Correcting The Patient

People with dementia do not like it when someone keeps correcting them every time they say something that may not be right. It makes them feel bad about themselves and can make them drift out of the conversation. Discussions should be humorous and light and one should always speak slowly and clearly using simple and short sentences to capture and keep the interest of the dementia patients.

What Helps Calm Agitated Dementia Patients

How to CALM or EXCITE Your Person w/ Dementia to Help FIX Behaviors

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 15, 2019 — Dealing with the agitation, anxiety and aggression that often come with dementia is one of the most challenging aspects of caring for someone with this brain disorder. But new research suggests that massage and other non-drug treatments may be more effective than medications.

Even just taking people with dementia outdoors can help, said study author Dr. Jennifer Watt, a geriatrician and clinical scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital-Unity Health in Toronto.

“The bottom line from our study is that non-medication based therapy and multidimensional care seem to be better than medications for treating the symptoms of aggression and agitation in persons with dementia,” she said.

Dementia, a progressive loss of thinking and memory skills, affects 50 million people worldwide. Up to three-quarters have behavioral and psychological symptoms. People with such symptoms often need institutionalized care sooner.

Health care professionals rely on several medications to lessen symptoms of agitation and aggression, but these medications carry significant risks. One, ironically, is worsening memory and thinking, the researchers said.

Given the challenges of using medications, researchers wanted to know more about alternatives, Watt said.

They included 163 studies in their analysis, with a total of more than 23,000 people. Studies included drug and non-drug interventions.

Annals of Internal Medicine

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Rules And Boundaries May Fail As Dementia Progresses

Dementia is a disease that impairs a persons cognitive function. Often, its difficult for us to imagine someone who might have been easy-going and considerate to suddenly become uncooperative, combative, rude, or angry. The expectation of caregivers is often to place rules and boundaries. But, we know at least two dozen sources can cause dementia. Everything from a head injury to Alzheimers. In every situation, a persons ability to process problems and their environment degrades.

To better understand ways of communicating with someone who is upset, recognize that dementia comes in three broad phases:

  • Mild dementia. Forgetfulness is the most common indicator. Often perceived as a normal sign of aging and blamed on stress or over-work, dementia here can be managed with reminders, notebooks, calendars, etc. Its likely the patient recognizes their memory is failing, and this can elicit fear and sadness. Most loved ones are still recognizable, however.
  • Moderate dementia. This manifests in the form of repeated questions, paranoia, anxiousness at what were common tasks or events, depression, and loss of control. Hygiene and self-care, often in the form of not eating or sleeping, and withdrawing from friends, family, and past interests are also problems at this stage.
  • And Finally Do Everything You Can To Promote Relaxation

    Create a restful environment in the evening and stick to a night-time routine. During mid-stage to advanced dementia there is advice that suggests someone with dementia shouldn’t watch TV or read a book as they can find this difficult and become frustrated playing soft music may be a better alternative. You could even try reading to them. The bedroom should be comfortable, not too hot, not too cold and with cosy, breathable bedding.

    Find more general tips for elderly parents on how to get a better nights sleep.

    If you care for someone with dementia, you may want to consider a system like the CPR Guardian Smartwatch. This light and stylish watch is often preferred by elderly relatives who are used to wearing a watch every day. The CPR Guardian can pair with a carers smartphone, enabling them to find out the wearers GPS location and communicate with the wearer directly through the watch. The watch also comes with an SOS button that alerts the carer directly when pressed. It can even monitor the wearers heart rate! All of these features mean that there is always a way to keep track of your relative with dementia, make sure theyre okay, and be alerted if there is ever a problem.

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    Get The Lighting Right

    To aid a more restful nights sleep the bedroom should be as comfortable as possible. Using blackout curtains are a good idea during night-time to eliminate outside disturbances. Research suggests that light therapy can reduce restlessness and confusion for people with dementia. Should you wish to consider light therapy, it has been proven that violet coloured light promotes drowsiness and a full-spectrum fluorescent light used for the first two hours of the day can be settling. Light therapy that follows a regular pattern can also help with disturbed body clocks.

    Safety – if night wandering is a problem, or frequent visits to the loo, you will need to consider some sort of low light to prevent your parent falling in the dark. You may want to invest in a motion sensor night light. A motion sensor light automatically turns on when motion is detected within three metres. It then turns off after 30 seconds of no activity. This means that people with dementia can use the bathroom in the night or get out of bed with less risk of falling. The light is gentle and warm in order to not interrupt sleep.

    Shop Warm Motion Sensor Wall Lights on the Complete Care Shop from £9.43

    To Calm Down A Person With Alzheimers Disease Try:

    How Do You Calm A Person With Dementia
  • Rule out pain as a source of stress. Pain can cause a person with dementia to act aggressively.
  • Focus on feelings. Rather than focusing on specific details, consider the persons emotions. Look for the feelings behind the words or actions.
  • Dont get upset. Be positive and reassuring. Speak slowly in a soft tone .
  • Limit distractions. Examine the persons surroundings, and adapt them to avoid similar situations.
  • Try a relaxing activity. Use music, massage or exercise to help soothe the person.
  • Shift the focus to another activity. The immediate situation or activity may have unintentionally caused the behavior. Try something different.
  • Managing problems in Alzheimers is possible. Discuss ideas with your doctor, make a plan, and see what works best. If a plan doesnt seem to be working, call the doctor immediately to discuss the problems youre having. Caregiver support groups may also offer good ideas for managing behaviors, based on others own experiences.

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    Do Not Shy Away From Asking For Help

    No one may have all the answers especially when it comes to taking care of a person with dementia. Try doing research on how their behavior changes and what needs to be done to help them live their lives without too many complications. Hire help when it becomes too much as it also ensures that you do not become too frustrated or drained. When you have multiple family members who can help, ask everyone to pitch in and look after the patient so that you can get some personal space to breathe and re-energize when it is your time to look after the patient. When you feel like you can no longer look after your loved one at your own home, it may be time to consider assisted living. In such case, look into dementia care homes that can provide specially trained professionals.

    Rummaging And Hiding Things

    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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    Professional Help With Dementia Sleep Issues

    Dementia is a disease that commonly affects an elderly adults sleep cycle. Experts still dont know precisely why dementia patients dont sleep but believe its linked to brain alterations. Other dementia sleep issues like sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome can also make it difficult for loved ones with dementia to fall asleep or stay asleep at night.

    If your loved one with dementia struggles with sleep and youre wondering how to keep dementia patients in bed at night, you may want to try:

    • Keeping them on a consistent schedule
    • Ensuring they exercise regularly
    • Creating a calming nighttime routine

    Theres also overnight dementia care for family caregivers looking for professional, hands-on assistance.

    Stowell Associates in Wisconsin is a premier in-home dementia care provider. We train and equip both our Care Managers and Caregivers to handle the demands of dementia care. With our 24-hour care service, your loved one will receive the best care during the day and nighttime hours. It will also provide you with peace of mind knowing your loved one is receiving the care they need.

    Contact us today to talk with a Care Advisor. Theyll help you better understand all the benefits of full-time dementia care.

    More to explore

    Do Try To Be Forgiving And Patient

    Coronavirus and Dementia Q2: How to calm down and support the person with dementia?

    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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    Natural Remedies For Dementia And Alzheimers Treatment Option #: Build

    This is probably one of the most overlooked remedies andtreatments for dementia. Stamford University have discovered that boosting thebodys immune system can help with Alzheimers disease. Heres what was statedin an article published in the UK’s, The Telegraph

    Alzheimer’scould be prevented and even cured by boosting the brain’s own immune response,new research suggests. Researchers at Stanford University discovered that nervecells die because cells which are supposed to clearthe brain of bacteria, viruses and dangerous deposits, stop working. 4

    This makes perfect sense, since bacteria, viruses anddangerous deposits such as mercury and aluminium have now been vindicated asprime suspects in the onset and development of diseases suchas Alzheimers. In fact, researchers from Umea University found that the herpessimplex virus increases the risk of Alzheimers disease. They said “Our results clearly show that there isa link between infections of herpes simplex virus and the risk of developingAlzheimer’s disease.

    So building up the bodys immune system and keeping thesemicroglial cells healthy and in tip top condition is absolutely vital forthe prevention and reversal of dementia, particularly in regards to Alzheimersdisease. For some of the best ways to do this, have a read of TheTop13 Ways to Boost Your Immunity from our June newsletter here TakeYour Health to a Whole New Level With These Powerful Immune Boosting Tips!

    Techniques For Promoting Calm In The Moment

    If the person with dementia does start to become upset, there are some methods you can try to help them feel calmer. These are:

    • Try, yourself, to remain calm. A person with dementia might say something upsetting to you, often when they themselves are upset.
    • Take five or ten seconds think about what youre going to say, before you reply
    • Keep a calm and steady tone of voice
    • Try and maintain eye contact with that person

    You know the person with dementia best. This means you are best placed to know what will give them reassurance. Not everything will work for everyone, but some things you can try include:

    • giving the person a hug
    • playing some music they love
    • sitting and holding their hand
    • offering them a cup of tea
    • changing the scenery and proposing you both go into a different room

    Sometimes, none of these tips will work. And sometimes, it might seem like the more actively you try to calm the person down, the more upset they become. It can help to acknowledge that they are upset and then give them some space perhaps go into a different room for five or ten minutes if it is appropriate to do so.

    In this video, Admiral Nurse Gayle Madden share some tips to help the person with dementia feel more at ease, which might make them less inclined to want to leave the house.

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    Listen To Your Senior Loved One

    If your loved one is able to verbally communicate with you take some time to listen to what they are angry or frustrated about.

    Here are some tips on how to actively listen:

    • Pay one-on-one attention to your senior loved one
    • Make eye to eye contact with him/her
    • Be patient and give them time to respond to you
    • Do not patronize or ridicule them in any way. You may think you are making a joke but they may not be able to comprehend the nuances of your humor.
    • Acknowledge what they are saying by casually rephrasing their statement and responding to it
    • If they can tolerate physical touch put your hand on them which can show them that you are paying attention just to them

    Make sure to listen carefully to what your loved one is saying. This will allow you to determine what their needs are. Remember that they are often confused and are having a hard time understanding words. Dont push your own agenda. Just concentrate on what THEY are saying.

    If they arent able to verbally communicate and are just ranting non-sensical words or sounds then work on comforting them by any of the following techniques:

    • Keep your body language calm and receptive to them by facing them, direct eye to eye contact and placing your hand on them .
    • Try your best to show a pleasant and happy look on your face.
    • Keep your tone positive and friendly.
    • Approach your loved one from the front.
    • For some seniors with dementia, personal space is an issue so respect that.

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