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5 Effective Methods for Easing Dementia-Related Agitation

Agitation is a common behavioral symptom of dementia, and there are many things that can trigger this type of behavior, such as a change in routine or environment. Caregivers should consider the following effective ways to mitigate dementia-related agitation. 

1. Look for a Trigger

When your senior loved one becomes agitated, look for the source of discomfort. He or she might be reacting to a physical need. If your loved one has a difficult time communicating the issue, he or she may become agitated or aggressive. Check to see if your loved one is thirsty, hungry, hot, or cold or simply needs to use the bathroom. Once you address your loved one’s needs, he or she may become less agitated.

Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is dementia care Toronto families can rely on. Professional dementia caregivers help seniors with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with household chores.  

2. Remove Environmental Distractions

Agitation can also be triggered by too much stimulation. If your loved one becomes agitated when surrounded by crowds or in response to loud noises, remove him or her from the source of the agitation. For example, many seniors with dementia become agitated at social gatherings. If possible, take your loved one to an empty room where he or she can take time to recover. In the event your loved one doesn’t respond well to sensory overload, make the living space as clean, quiet, and uncluttered as possible. Remove eye-catching distractions, lower the volume on the TV or radio, and opt for a minimalist design scheme. 

3. Maintain Routines

Sometimes seniors with dementia become agitated when they face the unexpected. For instance, traveling to an unfamiliar location or meeting new people may disorient or agitate them. You can mitigate agitation by sticking to a daily routine. While dementia makes creating new memories difficult, the part of the brain responsible for remembering daily routines is largely unscathed. When seniors follow consistent schedules, it allows them to be more independent and minimize feelings of agitation.

Older adults who need help maintaining their independence while living at home can benefit from having a caregiver. Toronto, ON, seniors increase their chances of aging in place safely and comfortably when they have a trusted professional to rely on. 

4. Try Music Therapy

For some seniors with dementia, a calm, quiet room is the best remedy for agitation. For others, music is a great way to ease agitation. Music has many benefits for people with dementia. It can enhance cognitive function, boost social interactions, and spur memories. Listening to music has a physiological impact on the brain and body. When people listen to music, the brain produces more dopamine, a neurotransmitter that calms anxiety and agitation and creates a feeling of wellbeing. 

5. Use the Power of Touch

People with dementia often respond well to gentle touch. When you decide to initiate touch, don’t reach from behind your loved one because it could add to his or her confusion. Instead, stand where your loved one can see you and give him or her a gentle pat on the hand or a soothing arm rub. These small actions can inspire trust and soothe anxious nerves.

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, an in-home care provider Toronto, ON, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Call us at (416) 488-8777 to schedule a free in-home consultation.

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