In Atlanta, GA, if you are caregiving for a spouse or parent with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, you know all too well the varied and complex behaviors associated with the disease, and one of the most difficult is the change in moods – the night and day difference from that sweet, kind person into a bitter, fussy bully. These outbursts can be devastating for a family caregiver who has been so selfless and dedicated in providing care for the senior.
It’s important to try not to take these mean behaviors personally, as difficult as that may be, and to remember that the person is typically speaking from a place of fear or frustration. The following advice can help “let the sails out” of an angry situation and restore peace:
- Stay calm. Your loved one may feel your elevated agitation and become more agitated as well – and similarly, is more likely to become calm if you stay level-headed. Minimizing any commotion and attempting to shift the person’s attention to something enjoyable can improve the situation.
- Provide comfort. Although a first instinct may be to argue, instead try a comforting, quiet, and slow tone of voice. Take a moment to figure out if pain, anxiety or simple overstimulation may be the reason for the agitation, and then deal with those issues.
- Remember what caused the behavior. You can minimize or possibly avoid a future behavioral issue altogether by taking notes and learning from the experience. Keep a journal of when it happened, what happened and what worked (or didn’t work).
It’s of utmost importance for family caregivers to also save some time for themselves to renew energy and refresh their minds, especially after agitating episodes with their loved one. Regency’s home health care in Atlanta provides compassionate, experienced, and patient Alzheimer’s and dementia care services, offering the respite care that families require. Contact us to learn more.