4 Tips to Calm Someone Down with Dementia
Updated: Oct 28, 2020
Seniors coping with dementia often experience a sense of loss in their ability to process information.
Dementia presents many challenges for all involved, including frequent feelings of anger, confusion, and sadness. If you help care for a senior loved one with dementia, and they become upset, the key is to respond by effectively changing their behavior and finding a solution.
There are several efficient strategies you can try that will help you respond appropriately to the situation at hand and rise to the challenges that dementia can pose.
One of the best things you can do is to learn the right communication methods to help your senior calm down during a time of frustration.
First, you should try to create a calm environment and get rid of any stressors. This might include moving your senior to a quieter place where they feel safe; providing them with a security object; or finding them privacy so they can rest. Avoid any further triggers, like loud noises, bright lights, or distractions. You do not want to overstimulate their brain.
Make sure your senior is comfortable. Ask them if they are hungry or thirsty. Be sure they are not in any pain or have any injuries. See if they need to use the bathroom or take a nap. Try to be sensitive to how they’re feeling and acknowledge their fears and what they deem as threats.
Simplify everything. If they are working on a task or routine, remove any signs of agitation by moving to a safer space. Get rid of any non-essential items for them to complete the task so they can focus on what matters and feel calmer. This can include removing items with bold patterns and prints, which are often confusing.
Say “yes” as much as possible. This word is both powerful and affirmative for your senior! When you tell them “yes,” they get a sense that you understand them and know what is best for them – and ultimately that you hear them.
For additional information and guidance on strategies to help a loved one with dementia calm down, reach out to Extended Family. We recognize the obstacles associated with helping a senior cope with dementia, but we want you to know that you don’t have to go through this alone. Contact our caregivers today for your consultation.