Dementia can cause extreme mood changes in your loved ones. They may become increasingly agitated as the disease progresses and it can be challenging when you take care of them. Here are some tips to help you better manage aggressive behavior in dementia patients.
Find the Cause of Agitation
Different factors can trigger aggressive behavior in your loved one with dementia. Find out the root cause and solve the issue that’s causing them to feel agitated. Some possible causes include:
- Lack of sleep
- Noisy environments
- Loneliness and lack of social interaction
Once you identify the cause, take the necessary steps to deal with it. Act on it fast as any delays can worsen the situation.
Display Favorite Items in the House
Gather your loved one’s favorite items and display them around the house. It could be photographs or his toy collection. Your loved one will feel more secure and happy when his favorite things are within sight.
Show concern for your loved one. Use a calm tone when speaking and listen to what your loved one’s frustrations are. Allow him to express his feelings and reassure him that you understand how he is feeling.
Establish a Routine
Develop a routine for daily activities like showering, eating, and grooming, and do these at the same time each day. A daily routine gives your loved one a sense of familiarity and lowers the odds of undesired behavior. As such, you’ll feel less stressed when taking care of your loved one.
Play some relaxing music or nature sounds to ease your loved one’s emotions. Does your loved one have a favorite song or singer? Put on his favorite tunes or songs and let the music work its magic to calm your loved one.
Use a Distraction
The current activity could be the reason why your loved one is agitated. Give him some time to vent his frustrations, then try to shift his focus to another activity. If he likes reading, entice him with his favorite book. You could also use his favorite food or items to distract him.
Reduce Intake of Unhealthy Food
Limit your loved one’s salt, sugar, and caffeine intake. Instead, prepare meals that are rich in nutrients and vitamins. They are more beneficial to your loved one’s overall health.
Leave the Room
Sometimes, it may not be possible to calm your loved one down. When this happens, try leaving the room and give him some space to cool down. Check on him a while later to see if he feels better. He might have calmed down on his own or even forgotten what his frustrations were. However, remember to check and ensure that your loved one is in a safe place before you leave the room. Also, never leave him alone in a dangerous or unfamiliar place.
Take a Break
It’s challenging if you are the main caregiver of your elderly loved one with dementia. Taking a break from caregiving can help you find balance in your life.
If caring for your loved one becomes too difficult, you can consider letting him join a trusted memory care community. Rest assured that your loved one will be well taken care of by a team of professionals in a safe and secure environment.