Confusion, agitation, and anxiety are common symptoms of dementia. However, these symptoms can often be alleviated or even prevented if a senior lives in a calm and comforting environment. If your aging loved one is living with dementia, the Mississauga senior care experts at Home Care Assistance suggest a few ways you can bring more comfort into his or her life.
1. Show Empathy
Seniors with dementia sometimes experience feelings of loneliness and loss because of loved ones who have passed away, but they may have difficulty comprehending these people are deceased. Instead of correcting your loved one and trying to get him or her to understand a particular person is no longer alive, encourage him or her to focus on the positive feelings and memories associated with the person. For example, if your loved one starts talking about his or her deceased mother, ask about the things they used to do together and what he or she liked most about her.
2. Speak with Reassurance
Dementia-related agitation is often the result of fear. Verbally reassuring your loved one that everything is safe may have a calming effect. You may even find your loved one responds better to another family member’s voice instead of yours. There may be no apparent logical reason for this response, and it should not be interpreted as a personal slight in any way.
3. Provide Comforting Objects
Holding objects like blankets, stuffed animals, or dolls can help seniors with dementia feel calm and comforted. The object serves as a distraction and a focal point for their attention, which can be especially effective with women because they often retain a deep-rooted maternal instinct years after raising their own children.
4. Make Your Presence Known
Avoid approaching your loved one if you are likely to catch him or her unaware. Impaired hearing and vision may make it difficult for him or her to see or hear you approach. As a result, your loved one may become startled and act out physically.
5. Try Music Therapy
Music often has a soothing effect on seniors with dementia. The familiar melodies can connect them with feelings of happiness and security located deep in their long-term memory. It may take a little time and experimentation to find just the right type of music for your loved one, but classical music and songs from his or her past are a good place to start.
Engaging in activities designed to boost the brain can also help alleviate your loved one’s dementia symptoms. At Mississauga Home Care Assistance, we offer a program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which uses activities to help slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. In addition to Mississauga dementia care, we also offer comprehensive Alzheimer’s, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. For more information and to schedule a complimentary consultation, call one of our experienced Care Managers today at (905) 337-1200.