“I am telling you, there’s a dog inside my closet! I hear it growling the whole night long. We’ve got to find its owner!”
Listening to an elder loved one express worries like this that you are aware to be false is unsettling – however, not uncommon. The initial reaction could be to try and rationalize with the person with a response such as, “Nonsense! There is absolutely no way a dog might have gotten into your closet!” Yet for a variety of reasons, this could be the least effective approach to take care of irrational thoughts and conduct in the senior population.
Alternatively, at Home Sweet Home In-Home Care, we suggest the following tactics as a way to help bring back a feeling of calm and well-being when dementia paranoia impacts a senior:
- First and foremost, arrange an appointment with the senior’s health care provider. It is crucial to identify any cognitive impairment in order to ensure she or he receives recommended treatment if required. There also could very well be prescription medication side effects occurring.
- Seek out the thinking behind the irrationality, and then figure out how to solve the issue. For instance, the heating vent near the closet may be loose, or an air vent might be blowing on a row of hangers and generating a strange noise.
- In place of attempting to correct the senior loved one, respond lovingly with assurance and compassion. Focus on accepting the thoughts and feelings being expressed, and on having the individual realize that you will be there to assist. Accompanying a senior loved one into a different area and providing enjoyable diversions, such as listening to music, baking, gardening, or browsing through photos together, often helps restore calm.
- One of the best possible ways to conquer any challenge is simply determining what has helped others in the same situation. Consider joining an in-person or online community of family caregivers, making it possible for the exchange of helpful advice and resources. A wide range of options are readily available, such as AgingCare.com’s caregiver discussion forum.
- Search out the help of an experienced in-home care provider, such as Home Sweet Home In-Home Care. Our caregivers are adept at helping older adults remain active and engaged, in addition to helping to relieve challenging and difficult behaviors like dementia paranoia. Partnering with an established and reliable caregiver also provides you with necessary respite to take a break from caregiving duties while being confident a senior loved one is receiving top quality care.
To get more tips on assisting your parent through difficulties with aging, dementia or chronic illness, reach out to the caregiver team at Home Sweet Home In-Home Care. We’re always readily available to respond to any questions, share resources specific to the challenges you’re encountering, and provide a free of charge in-home consultation and development of a customized care plan to improve wellbeing for an older adult with our home care in Battle Creek, MI and other Michigan communities. Reach out to us any time at 269-373-5444 in Kalamazoo, 269-849-9252 in St. Joseph, 269-763-5350 in Paw Paw, or 269-963-9888 in Battle Creek to learn more about our services throughout Southwest Michigan and to find out if we’re available to help in your area.