February 19, 2020 by
Agitation is among the more difficult symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and it may be incredibly hard for family members to control. One of the keys is in taking steps to deal with agitation before it is felt and conveyed by the senior loved one, which involves keeping track of what has caused these feelings in the past, and creating a home environment in which those stimulants are removed or minimized. These strategies can help:
- Designate a place of retreat. When life starts to be stressful, having a specially created spot for your loved one to go to de-stress often works wonders in restoring calm to prevent Alzheimer’s agitation. This could be a designated room, or merely a comfortable corner with a number of calming activities conveniently available, quiet music, a relaxing scent to enjoy like lavender or vanilla – whatever delivers peace and relaxation for the older adult.
- Evaluate the house for distressing items. Focus on exactly what your senior loved one is easily agitated by, for example, particular decorations, mirrors (which might give the illusion of somebody else watching), window coverings that do not effectively block out the darkening evening sky (prompting sundowning issues), etc.
- Decrease noise and other distractions. Soft carpeting is often more comforting for people with dementia than harder floor materials that may reverberate or accentuate the sound of footsteps. Keep the TV or radio at a low volume, and set to a station that offers gentle music as opposed to alarming, graphic news programs. Close windows if outside noises appear to trigger annoyance.
- Modify lighting. Make sure each room a senior loved one may enter is well lit, with natural light whenever possible, or higher wattage lightbulbs, carefully adjusting to eliminate any unusual shapes or shadows caused by the light.
- Keep regularly used items readily accessible. Whatever the senior tends to want to use or hold regularly should be put in a prominent location where he or she can find it conveniently. Placing labels with words or pictures of what the senior may want to find in cabinets or the refrigerator can be a great way to help avoid frustration.
Let At Home Independent Living’s expert dementia caregivers help maintain the most calming and peaceful environment for an older adult you love, and provide the skilled, innovative, compassionate care that makes life the very best it can be. Some of the various ways we are able to improve life for anyone with dementia include:
- Specifically created activities centered on a senior’s particular interests and abilities
- Companionship in order to help seniors stay socially engaged
- Evening respite care, allowing family caregivers the opportunity for a restful night when a senior is challenged by sundowning
- And much more