For non-professional caregivers, it can be both alarming and daunting to properly care for a senior suffering with Dementia. Their reality is altered, and they can become difficult at times. A senior with Dementia may be accusatory, bewildered, or simply prone to wander and get lost. Learning to cope with these changes, and ease a senior’s mind, is extremely important. Here are five ways to help calm a senior suffering from Dementia.
This is a classic stress reliever, whether a person is suffering from Dementia or not. After consulting a doctor to find out what is most appropriate, help a senior get outside, or at least get moving. By using up some energy and stretching out the legs and arms, a senior with Dementia can find themselves less angry, less prone to wandering, and able to get a better night’s sleep. Walking around the house or around the block are equally effective.
Keeping a senior involved in activities, albeit simple ones, can help them to reconnect with what they know and help them to participate in life. Whether it’s cooking dinner, helping to prepare food or drying the dishes, a senior will feel productive and helpful. This is a form of managing stress and keeping it to a minimum. No one likes to feel helpless; those with Dementia inevitably feel that way. Giving them small tasks can help to address that.
Involving the senior in group activities means keeping a senior involved socially as well. Of course, throwing a senior with Dementia into a group of strangers will do nothing but increase stress. However, creating activities with a small group of one or two people can help. Not only will mental activity be increased, but there’s also a chance for some physical activity as well. Staying in touch with friends and family members on a regular basis will always help seniors suffering with dementia.
Get a pet!
Sometimes, a senior will not take comfort from interactions with people. A pet can provide both stimulation and compassion. A small dog or cat can give the dementia patient unconditional love and asks for little in return. This can help boost the self-esteem and happiness of a senior with Dementia. Any docile, well-trained pet will be calming and help to decrease aggression in a senior.
The most difficult part of caring for a senior with Dementia is comprehending what they are going through. For the most part, a senior is not purposefully being difficult. Their reality is altered, but it doesn’t seem that way to them. Identifying the triggers of negative behavior, and working to adjusting a senior’s life to avoid them will develop a happier, less stressful life for the senior and caregiver alike.
Suffering with Dementia is one of the most difficult things in the world. Seniors need help, because they simply cannot do many things for themselves. Reducing stress, increasing healthy activity, and providing compassion will help seniors with Dementia remain calm and avoid agitation.
Read our latest Guide to In-Home Dementia Care.
Learn more about LivHOME’s Dementia Care services.