If you are providing dementia care 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. Use the following care tips to help ease a difficult situation and restore peace:
- Provide comfort. Rather than arguing with the person, which may be a first instinct, use a quiet, slow, and comforting tone. Think about what may be triggering your loved one’s feelings of anger so you can deal with those triggers, such as pain, overstimulation, or anxiety.
- Stay calm. Your loved one may pick up on your heightened agitation and become more agitated in turn – and likewise, is more apt to calm down himself if you keep your cool. Minimizing any commotion and attempting to shift the person’s attention to something enjoyable can improve the situation.
- Remember what caused the behavior. Learning from the experience can help avoid, or at least minimize, a similar one in the future. Keep a journal of when it happened, what happened and what worked (or didn’t work).
It’s also extremely important for family caregivers to take time for themselves to refresh and renew, especially after difficult encounters with their senior loved one. Home Sweet Home In-Home Care is ready to provide compassionate, experienced, and patient Alzheimer’s and dementia care, offering the respite that families require. Contact us to learn more. Our service area includes Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo and Van Buren Counties.