Dementia-related agitation can range from benign behaviors such as pacing and repetitive questions to violent outbursts. Whether they happen during an otherwise pleasant family meal or while standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, inappropriate outbursts often catch dementia caregivers off guard. While you may not be able to control your senior loved one’s inappropriate outbursts, there are a few things every dementia caregiver should know when it comes to responding to such behaviors.
Outbursts at Home
Fight the urge to take outbursts personally. If possible, take some time to sit down with your loved one and ask why he or she is upset. Try to watch your tone as you respond to your parent’s agitation. Use a soothing voice and positive language that lets your loved one know you’re still in control. Ideally, your loved one will respond by mimicking your calm language and begin to calm down. Because seniors with dementia often react in response to the moods and behaviors of those they trust and are comfortable with, your reassuring demeanor can help your loved one calm down again after an outburst.
Dementia is just one of the many conditions older adults are susceptible to. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional in-home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.
If your parent has an outburst while you’re in public, arguing or scolding him or her for making a scene is likely to make the situation worse. Your parent’s wellbeing is more important than what strangers may think, so if this happens with your loved one, your most essential concern is to focus on his or her comfort. Employ the same calming methods you use at home, and try to defuse the situation by downplaying the incident or briefly explaining to onlookers that your loved one has dementia.
Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers, and hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to provide the high-quality care your loved one needs. Families looking for top-rated Montgomery elderly home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
What Else Can Be Done?
A few other strategies for responding to the inappropriate outbursts associated with dementia include:
- Asking if there’s anything your loved one needs or if he or she is experiencing discomfort, since outbursts can sometimes be a way of reacting to pain.
- Having your loved one checked for depression or delirium (sudden severe confusion due to rapid changes in brain function), which is prevalent in seniors with dementia due to a reduced cerebral reserve.
- Giving your parent a simple task to perform as a distraction. For instance, if the outburst occurs while shopping, ask your loved one to help you pick out something for dinner.
- Seeing if the outbursts are associated with a particular activity or situation. For example, some seniors with dementia may act out if dinner is late or have outbursts if they’re left alone for too long.
In some cases, adjustments in medication may help. However, behavior-related problems in those with dementia don’t usually respond well to drug therapies alone. Keep in mind that most outbursts are a symptom of your loved one’s particular form of dementia, so your best response is to remain as calm and understanding as possible.
Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Montgomery live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (334) 593-3988 today.