Are you providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s? Then you may know all too well the varied and complex behaviors associated with the disease, but the sudden changes in mentality can be the most challenging – the dual personality conversion from that kindhearted, cordial person into a stormy, aggravated bully. For a caregiver who has been so dedicated and selfless in providing care for the senior, the emotional pain those outbursts cause can be devastating.
However, it is important to try not to take these mean behaviors personally, as difficult as that may be, and to remember that the senior is probably acting out due to frustration or fear. Our Dallas dementia care experts offer the following tips to help “let the sails out” of an angry situation and restore peace:
- Keep calm. Your loved one may pick up on your escalated irritation and become more irritated too – and likewise, is more apt to calm himself or herself down if you remain reasonable and patient. Keeping your focus and trying to move the person’s attention to a different topic or activity can be helpful.
- Comfort the person. Although a first instinct may be to argue, instead try a comforting, quiet, and slow tone of voice. Think about what may be triggering your loved one’s feelings of anger so you can deal with those triggers, such as pain, over-stimulation, or anxiety.
- Keep track of what initiated the troublesome behavior. In order to help avoid, or at least minimize a similar situation in the future, learn from the experience. Keep a journal of when it happened, what happened and what worked (or didn’t work), and be sure to share that journal with other home health care providers that may care for your loved one.
It’s also extremely important for family caregivers to take time for themselves to refresh and renew, especially after difficult encounters with their senior loved one. Heaven at Home Senior Care is on hand to provide compassionate, patient, experienced Alzheimer’s and dementia care to Dallas area seniors, offering much needed respite for families. Contact us to learn more.