How to Calm a Confused or Agitated Senior With Dementia
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How to Calm a Confused or Agitated Senior With Dementia

Caring for and calming a senior loved one who has dementia can be a difficult task. Dementia often triggers confusion and agitation due to the degenerative damage it does to the brain. Examine some ways to calm an agitated senior with dementia.

Identify the Cause of the Minor Agitation

Identifying the cause of your senior loved one's confusion or agitation is important in determining the best way to calm them. Assessing the causes of mild agitation helps you make adjustments and calm them. These might include:

Unmet Needs

When caring for a senior loved one with dementia, make sure all their needs are met. Addressing the cause of agitation starts with ensuring their physical and emotional needs are fulfilled. They may require more appropriate caregiving arrangements or a change in medications.

Assess the Environment

Consider the environment and surroundings. Are there noises or lots of activity, which can be overstimulating? Also, consider if the room or area is familiar and comfortable for them. You can make changes, such as reducing noise and activity to calm an agitated senior with dementia. 

Speak Calmly and Directly

When speaking with a senior loved one with dementia, take the time to make sure that your words are understood. Use simple and direct language. Keep your tone of voice calm and soft. Try to avoid using questions or statements of more than one-word instructions. This can be confusing for them.

For More Moderate Agitation, Develop a Calming Strategy

If the agitation is more moderate, developing a calming strategy can work to reduce their confusion and distress. This may involve things such as massages or music. It's best to have some strategies on hand when you need them, including:

Use Distraction Techniques

Distraction can redirect your senior loved one's attention and help them relax. Take the time to look around for potential calm activities or objects that can distract and engage them, such as petting animals, folding towels, puzzles, or talking about events of their past.

Keep Activities Simple and Familiar 

It's best to stick with simple and familiar activities. This will help your senior loved one remain calm and productive while enjoying their favorite activity.

Remain Calm and Respectful

It can be easy to become upset when confronted with a senior loved one who is displaying confusion or agitation. Keep your cool and speak calmly so you don't worsen the situation. You should always choose respect over force. This ensures that they still feel empowered even while dealing with difficult episodes of distress. 

Seek Professional Help for More Extreme Episodes of Agitation

When it comes to more extreme episodes, you should consider speaking with your senior loved one's doctor about how to calm an agitated senior with dementia. It may be time to assess their current medications and any other measures that can help reduce the episodes of confusion or agitation. Additionally, increasing medication is also an option if discussed extensively with their physician first. 

Senior Helpers Napa Offers Assistance for You and Your Senior Loved One

Caring for a senior parent with dementia can be challenging, but it is not impossible. You can take steps to help calm them during periods of confusion or agitation. Senior Helpers Napa can support you both with help tackling daily activities in their Napa, Sonoma, American Canyon, St. Helena, or Fairfield home. Contact us today!