Loved ones living with Alzheimer’s or dementia can experience bouts of agitation every once in a while, making caregivers and family members feel overwhelmed, especially if they’re unable to cope with these negative feelings well. However, while it may seem inevitable and there are no possible solutions to calm loved ones down, there are actually ways to handle and better manage anger in loved ones. If you’ll like to know more about how to handle anger in loved ones with dementia, continue reading.
Respect and Accept Their Limitations
For some loved ones with dementia, they’re unwilling to do certain tasks and activities. This can either result from a lack of self-confidence or they’re simply uncomfortable doing so. In such cases, it’s best to respect their boundaries and not pressure them to do anything that they’re reluctant to participate in. By putting ourselves into their shoes, we also may not enjoy taking instructions and being forced by people to do certain things. Due to a decline in cognitive health, your loved ones may no longer have the capability and knowledge to take part in certain tasks, so it’s safer for them to not push themselves too hard as well.
Take It Slow
A decline in cognitive health also contributes to slower reflexes, which means that your loved ones can no longer comprehend things as sharply as before. This loss of functional ability to process information quickly can cause loved ones to feel a lost sense of control in their lives, leading them to be more frustrated, irritated, and fearful. In order to calm them down, we recommend speaking slowly and putting more emphasis on explanations and examples. When it comes to daily tasks and responsibilities, try not to rush them and give them ample space to be as independent as possible. In general, it’s all about allowing them to move at their own pace.
Create a Soothing and Calm Environment
Loved ones with dementia can easily reflect negative feelings from the other person. As such, if they’re in a stressed and bustling environment, they can quickly get angry and overwhelmed. This goes for unfamiliar environments as well. In this case, we recommend setting a more soothing and calming environment by dimming the lights, changing the room’s temperature, and playing soft music. All these actions can allow loved ones to concentrate and be at ease. You can also consider adding pillows and blankets, as well as providing them with tea and snacks, to lower their stress levels.
Treat Them with Respect and Dignity
Always remember that your loved ones are adults and not children. Even though they may require assistance for daily tasks and responsibilities, they’re perfectly capable of taking instructions and making choices. As such, do not disrespect them and disregard their concerns. Instead of focusing on demanding them to do certain things and forcing them to follow your instructions, you should help them make more informed choices that can positively impact their way of life. It can be simple, everyday activities like picking out clothes and choosing meals.