Tips for Managing Confusion in Aging Adults with Dementia

When seniors with dementia can’t remember a family member or familiar location, they usually become confused, agitated, and disoriented. During the earliest stages of this cognitive disorder, confusion shouldn’t be difficult to manage, but there may come a time when those emotions are overwhelming. Here are a few tips you can use to manage your senior loved one’s confusion in a safe and healthy manner.

Make Sure the Environment Is Calm

As dementia progresses, being overstimulated can trigger a wide variety of emotions, including frustration. Some seniors with dementia even become aggressive when they’re overstimulated, which is why they need to have a quiet room where they can relax. The room shouldn’t have bright lights, a loud television, or windows that face a busy street. You can also place a few comfort objects in the room, such as a favorite blanket, photo albums, or an old piece of clothing your loved one used to wear.

Create a Strict Daily Routine

Daily routines provide a sense of comfort for seniors with dementia, which reduces the risk of emotional outbursts or aggressive acts. Experts suggest creating a consistent schedule will put daily tasks in the long-term memory portion of the brain. Once habits have been shifted to that area of the brain, your loved one won’t have to think about brushing his or her teeth, putting on clothes, or any other tasks that might become difficult as the disorder progresses. The daily schedule should include mealtimes, medication management, hygiene tasks, exercising, leisure activities, and bedtime.

A trained caregiver with experience in caring for seniors with dementia can be a wonderful resource for helping seniors maintain daily routines. Families who need outstanding La Mesa home care should look for providers offering specialized dementia care that makes life easier for aging adults and their loved ones.

Validate Emotions

It’s perfectly natural for caregivers to feel frustrated at times, but you need to keep your emotions out of the equation as much as possible. Responding to your loved one’s confusion with anger or ridicule could make the situation worse. Those reactions could also damage your relationship and potentially destroy any trust your loved one has in you. As an alternative, try to validate your loved one’s emotions so he or she feels the environment is safe.

Utilize Distractions

Whenever you notice any early warning signs of an imminent outburst, immediately try to modify the situation. The first thing you should do is take your loved one to a safe and calm area, such as the bedroom. You can then show your loved one old pictures, read a favorite book, or assign a small task, such as folding a towel. After the confusion passes, you can then return to the activity you had planned.

Professional caregivers with training and expertise in dementia care can often identify the sources of confusion and respond effectively and compassionately. Caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Fortunately, Coast Care Partners is a premier provider of dementia home care. La Mesa families who need compassionate, professional care for their loved ones with dementia should reach out to us today at 619-354-2544 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.