The first thing to do when someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia is distressed or disturbed is to help them calm down. Reducing agitation can help you find out what’s wrong or assist in solving the situation. In these cases, whatever threat or fear they are experiencing is very real to them, so telling them to relax or explaining why they shouldn’t be concerned won’t work. Using a few simple approaches that rely on the body’s natural reflexes to create calm is typically more successful. Continue reading for a guide on calming down seniors with dementia here!
Mimic their Distress
Being as disturbed as they are demonstrates that you understand and embrace their sentiments. You support them. You may also use this strategy to elicit information about how they’re feeling or what’s upsetting them. When you’re ready to move on to problem-solving, you’ll be glad you did.
Use the Hand Under Hand method
When someone is distressed, they may already be reaching out to you with their hands. If that’s the case, now is the time to grasp their hand in a natural way. If they don’t extend their hand, extend yours. When someone is in distress, they are more likely to appreciate this reassuring gesture from someone on their side.
If they don’t give or freely accept your hand, it may feel like aggression to someone who is in distress. Try to stand at their dominant side when holding their hand (their writing or eating hand). It will make them feel more at ease and allow them to relax.
Take Deep Breaths
Change from mimicking their distress to taking slow, deep breaths. Make a point of blowing out your breath. This helps to relax their ribcage, allowing them to take in more oxygen.
Pump Into Their Palm In A Heartbeat-Like Rhythm
Continue deep breathing while softly pumping (applying pressure on) their palm. Keep your forearm parallel to their forearm while pumping their palm for more comfort. Keep an eye on their reaction to ensure that the palm pump is giving relief and not creating pain or discomfort. Be cautious and avoid any known painful places if your older parent is fragile or has arthritis in their hands.
Play Some Music
Music therapy is an excellent method for calming the anxieties of seniors suffering from dementia. The music functions as a sedative, relaxing both the mind and the body. As the relaxing music plays, critical parts of the brain send out stress-relieving messages, lowering anxiety. Encourage your loved one to dance and move to the rhythm of the beat after the music has calmed him or her down. Music and dancing are both therapeutic hobbies that may quickly improve one’s mood.
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