As a family caregiver taking care of a senior parent with Alzheimer’s, it can be a real challenge to help calm your senior parent if they get upset. Seniors with Alzheimer’s can go through bouts of irritability, sadness, and other negative emotions. It’s difficult to see your senior parent struggle emotionally. And it can be difficult to help them when you don’t know what’s wrong and they can’t tell you what’s wrong.
Alzheimer’s care can help family caregivers taking care of a senior parent with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s care gives family members the chance to take some time off when they are overwhelmed. And care providers that specialize in Alzheimer’s care can share tips and techniques that can help family caregivers calm a senior parent. Here are some effective strategies to help calm a senior with Alzheimer’s:
Avoid Chaos in the House
Create a peaceful and familiar environment for the senior. Reduce noise and distractions as much as possible. Soft lighting, soothing music, and a clutter-free space can contribute to a calming atmosphere.
Use Reassuring Touch to Comfort
Physical touch can be reassuring for seniors with Alzheimer’s. Hold their hand, give them a gentle pat on the back, or offer a hug if they are comfortable with it. These comforting gestures can help ease anxiety and provide a sense of security.
Keep Tone Light and Positive
Keep your voice calm and speak slowly and clearly. Use simple and positive language, avoiding complicated sentences or questions that may confuse the senior. Maintain a gentle and reassuring tone throughout the conversation.
If the senior expresses feelings of fear, sadness, or frustration, acknowledge their emotions without dismissing them. Use phrases like, “I understand that you are feeling upset,” or “It’s okay to feel scared.” Validating their feelings can help them feel understood and respected.
Redirect Whenever Possible
If the senior becomes agitated or fixated on a particular topic, gently redirect their attention to something else. Offer a different activity or topic of conversation that may be more engaging and calming.
Use Comfort Objects or Happy Photos
Familiar objects or photographs from the past can bring comfort to seniors with Alzheimer’s. Show them cherished items or family photos and talk about the memories associated with them. You can also use things like animatronic pets, baby dolls, or fidget items like a fidget toy or blanket to help redirect their focus.
Try Doing Some Activities
Participating in calming activities can help distract and relax seniors with Alzheimer’s. Activities such as listening to soothing music, doing simple puzzles, or engaging in light exercises can be beneficial.
Stick to a Routine
Maintain a consistent daily routine for the senior. Routines can offer predictability and a sense of security, reducing anxiety and confusion.
Fix a Snack and Water or Juice
Hunger or thirst can contribute to agitation an irritability. Your senior parent may be hungry or thirsty but unable to recognize their body’s cues. They also may be unable to ask for something to eat or drink. Fix a snack and encourage them to drink water or juice.
Don’t Argue or Scold
It’s important to avoid arguing or correcting a senior with Alzheimer’s, as it can increase agitation and distress. Instead, focus on maintaining a supportive and understanding approach. Remember that they’re not trying to upset you. Even if they are mean to you it’s not personal.