13 Jun When Alzheimer’s Is Overwhelming: Tips to Better Manage Difficult Behaviors
Family caregivers know firsthand how fulfilling it can be to help their loved ones experience a higher quality of life. Yet they also know that providing care is not without its challenges, and this is particularly true when a senior loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. And with Alzheimer’s, the varied behaviors can ebb and flow throughout the progression of the disease, making it difficult for family members to know how to help manage them.
Senior HomeCare of Tucson, the trusted providers of elder care Tucson families need, offers the following suggestions for those providing dementia care for a loved one experiencing some of the most common difficulties:
The reasons for wandering are as unique as each individual experiencing them. The person could be bored, in pain or discomfort, confused, depressed, agitated, or trying to meet a need, such as using the bathroom or getting a drink. Determining the underlying reason behind the wandering is, therefore, key to finding the best solution. If you suspect the senior is experiencing pain, contact his or her doctor right away for assistance. Distraction is often helpful in addressing a variety of other causes. Moving into a different room, or outside if weather permits, and engaging the senior in a favorite pastime is often an effective way to alleviate his or her propensity to wander. Supervision is key to keeping a wandering senior safe; consider enlisting the help of a trained professional, such as those at Senior HomeCare of Tucson.
As the sun sets, agitation and confusion may increase for those with Alzheimer’s, making it difficult for both the senior and his or her family caregivers to get a much-needed restful night of sleep. Some tips to help include:
- Limit late-day napping
- Establish an evening routine that is soothing and conducive to sleep, such as with quiet music, low lighting, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol
- Pull curtains and blinds closed to prevent the senior from noticing the darkness outside
Again, partnering with Senior HomeCare of Tucson’s specialized dementia caregivers can be extremely helpful. An overnight caregiver allows family members to rest, while the senior is safe and engaged in comforting activities.
Agitation in a senior with dementia can quickly escalate to violence, leading to the potential for harm to both the senior and his or her family caregiver. To diffuse the stress, it’s crucial that family caregivers remain calm and reassuring. Becoming upset will only further aggravate the senior. Instead, plan ahead before the agitation begins. Keep several tried-and-true activities on hand that have shown success in calming the senior, such as looking at photographs and reminiscing, having a snack, or listening to favorite music.
For more tips on helping a senior with Alzheimer’s live the most comfortable, peaceful, and enjoyable life possible, call on Senior HomeCare of Tucson, providers of the elder care Tucson families trust the most. You can reach us any time at 520-355-4787 with any questions or to request an in-home consultation to see how we can help.