When it comes to both caring for and visiting with seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, we cannot stress enough how important it is to be prepared for any scenario. It is particularly valuable to know the proper steps to take in any event that the senior should become upset. In this situation, your goal will be to calm them down and try to solve their problem. Below, we’re sharing four of our top tips that can help you most effectively calm down a senior with dementia.
Mirror Their Emotions.
The senior’s body will give off natural responses that can be clues as to how they are feeling and even what is bothering them. Try and mirror their emotions as best as possible and match their distress – This can show them that you understand their frustrations and sympathize with their feelings.
Take Deep Breaths.
The second part to mirroring emotions is taking deep breaths. The idea behind this is that the senior should begin to mirror you back, meaning they will be taking deep breaths too. Help them exaggerate and focus on the exhales, which will relax their ribcage and let them take in more oxygen.
Take Their Hand.
Before reaching out to take the senior’s hands, observe them and see if they are already reach out for you. This is common in senior’s with dementia. The hand-over-hand method should feel very natural and is a simple gesture that is both comforting and encourages a sense of calmness.
Use Heartbeat Rhythm.
Begin to gently pump the senior’s hands while they’re in your own. Do so rhythmically to mimic that of a heartbeat – without causing them any discomfort or agitation. The heartbeat method is another small gesture that can make a big difference in the senior’s behavior.
We recognize it’s not always easy to help a loved one manage dementia, but we want you to know you don’t have to go through this journey alone. Home Care Assistance of Tampa is here for you and your senior loved one every step of the way. To learn more about our world-class Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care, please reach out to our caregivers and schedule your consultation.