Many people with dementia experience bouts of anxiety or agitation. It’s a common behavior change, but one that can be a real problem for family caregivers. Agitation and anxiety can cause an older adult with dementia to pace, be unable to sleep, and may even cause aggression. Aggressive behaviors can be dangerous for both the senior and their caregiver. Knowing what causes anxiety and agitation and how to deal with them can reduce safety issues and keep the older adult more comfortable.
Causes of Anxiety and Agitation
Most of the time, when a person with dementia is anxious or agitated, something is causing the behavior. If you can figure out what is causing the problem and deal with it, the behavior may stop. Some possible causes are:
-A change in routine or surroundings.
-Needing to use the bathroom, or having soiled themselves.
-Noise or commotion.
-Depression or loneliness.
-Preventing the Behavior
It may be possible to prevent anxiety and agitation. Some things that may help are:
-Calm Environment: Remove things from the environment that may cause stress, such as loud music. In situations where it’s not possible to eliminate commotion from the home, provide a quiet space the person can retreat to.
-Monitor Comfort: Try to remain aware of when the older adult is hungry, thirsty, need to use the bathroom, or needs a change of clothing. Also, make sure the room stays at a comfortable temperature.
-Exercise: Exercise can help reduce anxiety, so provide opportunities for the person to be physically active, such as a walk or playing a game of catch.
It’s not always possible to prevent anxiety or agitation, but it can help to be prepared when the behavior does occur. Some coping strategies include:
-Provide Reassurance: Speak calmly and remind the senior that you are there to help. Tell them they are safe.
-Do an Activity: Try engaging the person in something they enjoy doing, such as a craft, game, or listening to music.
-Change the Environment: Try reducing noise in the room. Turn off the television and remove distractions. If that doesn’t work, try going to another room.
If you’re struggling to care for an aging family member with dementia, hiring an elder care provider can make the responsibility much easier. An elder care provider can assist the dementia patient while family caregivers go to work or tend to other responsibilities. Elder care agencies can help match the older adult with a member of their staff who is experienced in dementia care. Such a person can help reduce incidences of anxiety and agitation by keeping the person comfortable, safe, and engaged.
If you or a family member are in need of hiring home care services in Pembroke Pines, FL, call the caring professionals at Star Multi Care today at (954) 870-4770.
Providing service in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Weston, Southwest Ranches, Pembroke Pines, Cooper City, Lighthouse Point, and Wilton Manors.