5 Ways Family Caregivers Can Distract Loved Ones with Dementia

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Seniors with dementia sometimes need help managing symptoms that cause them to get angry or frustrated. Although many of the most challenging dementia symptoms tend to occur during the evening hours, you should always be prepared to help your senior loved one manage his or her emotions. Distraction is a powerful tool that can shift your loved one’s focus away from whatever is causing the distress so he or she can regain a positive outlook. These five distraction techniques are all easy to implement and may quickly soothe your loved one.

1. Engage Your Loved One’s Sense of Humor

A touch of humor lightens up even the most tense situation. Try showing your loved one a silly video or ask him or her to help you figure out the punch line to a joke. You could also show your loved one a picture of a grandkid making a silly face. Once your loved one starts to laugh, he or she may quickly forget about what was upsetting him or her in the first place.

2. Pull Out a Favorite Activity

It’s always best to keep a few activities tucked away for moments just like these. Once you see your loved one’s mood turning foul, just pull out something you know he or she enjoys more than anything in the world. Whether your loved one loves knitting or playing a specific game, seeing you get it ready should lighten up his or her mood.

Symptoms such as agitation, confusion, anger, and frustration are common in elderly people with dementia. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Montgomery seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

3. Request Assistance

Your loved one may start acting out to get your attention while you’re busy. He or she may also feel frustrated or helpless seeing you do tasks he or she used to handle independently. Asking your loved one to help gives him or her a sense of accomplishment and control. Just make sure to provide a task you know your loved one can complete. For instance, your parent can wipe down the kitchen table before you sit down for a meal or organize a drawer while you fold clothes.

The cognitive challenges that accompany dementia often leave aging adults unable to manage everyday tasks, which puts their safety and health at risk. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

4. Offer Physical Stimulation

Seniors with dementia who begin to get upset may need a distraction because they’re stuck in their thoughts. Physical stimulation can bring your loved one’s focus toward his or her body and the sensations he or she feels. Try offering a hand massage, or you could ask your loved one to try to guess certain scents with his or her eyes closed. Using aromatherapy during these activities can also further keep your loved one calm.

5. Turn on Some Music

It’s hard to be in a bad mood when a good song is playing. When you see your loved one start to get agitated, just turn on one of his or her favorite songs. You can also sing in a silly voice or make up funny lyrics to a familiar tune to add a touch of humor. If your loved one is physically active, invite him or her to dance or play an instrument to the beat. Pretty soon your loved one will be so wrapped up in enjoying the music that his or her mood will lift.

Caring for a loved one with dementia is a challenging task for anyone. The responsibilities can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Montgomery homecare provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (334) 593-3988 today.

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