Dementia Caregiving: Distraction Methods

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Dementia is associated with changes in mood and behaviors that are sometimes challenging to manage. While you can use strategies to prevent some of these behaviors from occurring, they’re not always avoidable. These dementia distraction techniques are effective, and you can use them to help your senior loved one stay calm.

Offer a Snack

Some challenging behaviors may be your loved one’s way of expressing hunger. Seniors with low blood sugar may also experience mood swings. If your loved one hasn’t eaten in a while, try offering a snack. Eating a favorite healthy treat may shift 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. Denver 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.

Pull Out a Favorite Activity

Pacing and other signs of agitation tend to occur more often when a senior with dementia is bored. You can stop restless behavior by giving your loved one something exciting to do. Once you’ve identified a few of your loved one’s favorite activities, reserve one for special occasions so you have something to pull out when your loved one needs it most.

Help Your Loved One Focus on Something Physical

The symptoms of dementia include many mental changes, such as confusion, that increase the chances of engaging in challenging behaviors. If your loved one seems upset about an event that’s out of your control, try bringing his or her mind to the present moment. For instance, you can offer a hand massage if your loved one is worried about trying to get to work even though he or she has been retired for years.

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 in-home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Provide a Safe Outlet for Aggression

Some seniors get aggressive when they’re upset. If your loved one tries to hit someone or throw objects, it’s important to let him or her know this isn’t okay. You can then offer an appropriate way to expend the energy. Kneading a pile of clay or squeezing a stress ball can help your loved one get negative energy out without breaking boundaries.

Turn on Some Music

Music is a powerful mood changer that can influence behavior. Try turning on a soothing tune your loved one can listen to while calming down. Classical music is always great for this technique, but be careful to pick songs that don’t have a rapidly increasing beat. Songs with a slow and steady rhythm are more likely to calm your loved one down.

Go Outside

Being cooped up in the house can be difficult for seniors, and some fresh air and sunshine can make all the difference in the world. You don’t have to go far for this technique to work. You can take your loved one out on the porch or for a walk around the yard. Either way, be cautious about your loved one wandering. Consider having another caregiver watch your loved one if you must step away for a moment. This way, your loved one stays safe while having the opportunity to let the sunshine help him or her feel better.

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 Denver 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. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (720) 443-3371.





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