When you are providing in-home care for a loved one with dementia, it is natural to find his or her behavior confusing at times. Knowing how to deal with common dementia behaviors can relieve stress for both you and your elderly loved one. Here is a look at some common behaviors that people with dementia display and how you can cope as a caregiver.
Agitation is a common problem even in early stages of dementia, and it often gets worse as dementia progresses. It is frequently triggered by fear, fatigue, and restrictions that makes sufferers feel as though they are losing control. Agitation may manifest as sleeplessness, irritability, and both verbal and physical aggression. These behaviors are particularly common during the evening hours and are referred to as sundowning when they occur at this time. You can keep agitation under control by reducing stimuli that could be irritating, such as high noise levels, and cutting sugar and caffeine intake. Encourage as much independence as possible, and try to stick to a routine. Soft music, walks, and gentle touching can help ease agitation.
People with dementia may become convinced that someone is stealing from them or that there are other conspiracies planned to harm them in some way. Avoid arguing about accusations, and remind other family members to resist doing so. You can ease paranoia by helping your loved one look for missing items or ensuring he or she keeps a small amount of money in a specific place that he or she can check frequently.
People with dementia wander for a number of reasons, from boredom to attempts to stave off hunger and thirst. Because wandering can be especially dangerous, consider fitting doors with locks that need keys to be opened from the inside or adding a home monitoring system. Consider daily exercise to help your loved one feel less restless.
The home care providers at Endeavor Senior In-Home Care are trained to recognize and respond to dementia behaviors safely and with compassion. Find out how we can help you meet your needs for in-home care in Mesa, AZ, by calling (877) 584-6162.