Agitation is among the more difficult outcomes of Alzheimer’s, and may be frustrating for family members to help a senior loved one control. One of the keys is in taking steps to address agitation before it’s felt and conveyed by the senior, which involves keeping an eye on what has triggered these feelings in the past, and establishing a calm home environment for dementia patients in which those triggers are minimized. These pointers can help:
- Designate a location of retreat. When life starts to become stressful, having a specially created place for the senior to go to de-stress can work wonders in restoring peace. This might be a specific room, or just a comfortable corner with several soothing activities readily available, quiet music, a relaxing scent to enjoy like lavender or vanilla – whatever produces peace and relaxation for the older adult.
- Assess the house for distressing items. Pay attention to what your family member is sensitive to, for example, specific decorations, mirrors (which could give the illusion of someone else watching), window coverings that may not effectively block out the darkening evening sky (prompting sundowning issues), etc.
- Decrease noise along with other distractions. Soft carpeting is often more soothing for people with dementia than harder floor materials, which might reverberate or accentuate the noise of footsteps. Keep the TV or radio at a reduced volume, and set to a station that plays gentle music as opposed to alarming, graphic news presentations. Close windows if outside noises seem to trigger discomfort.
- Modify lighting. Ensure that each room a senior loved one may enter is well lit, with natural light whenever feasible, or higher wattage lightbulbs, carefully adjusting to remove any abnormal shapes or shadows caused by the light.
- Keep frequently used items readily available. Whatever the older adult tends to want to use or hold most often should be placed in a visible location where he or she can find it quickly. Adding labels with words or pictures of what a senior loved one may want to find in cabinets or the refrigerator can also be an excellent way to help avoid irritation.
Let Heaven at Home Senior Care’s skilled team in dementia care in Denton help maintain the most calming and peaceful environment for a cherished older adult, and provide the skilled, creative, compassionate care that makes life the best it can be. Some of the countless ways we are able to improve life for individuals with dementia include:
- Specially created activities based on a senior’s specific interests and abilities
- Companionship to keep seniors socially engaged
- Evening respite care to allow family caregivers the opportunity for a restful night when a senior is challenged by sundowning
- And so much more