An elderly family member who has dementia doesn’t reason through situations the same way that she has in the past. This can lead to emotional outbursts that can feel impossible for you to manage.
Acknowledge and Validate How Your Senior Is Feeling
If you’ve ever experienced having someone else tell you that your feelings are wrong, you know how important validation can be for everyone. Now imagine that your aging adult, who has dementia, is not having her feelings validated. It can make everything so much worse for her. You don’t need to agree with your elderly family member’s feelings. All you need to do is let her know you understand and you want to help.
Stay Calm to Help Her Regain Some Calm
Your aging adult is most likely still agitated and far from calm, so she needs you to maintain your calm. This gives her a port in the storm, so to speak. Keep your voice even and upbeat, smile, and use reassuring touches to help ground your elderly family member in the moment.
Avoid Correcting or Arguing
Just as validation is important during these situations, it’s equally important to avoid arguing with your senior or correcting her. Agreeing with her can be important in maintaining a calm atmosphere. Remember that just because you agree with her, that doesn’t mean you’re going to compromise her safety. If she’s trying to leave the house on her own, for example, agree with her and let her know she can go in a few minutes or right after you finish another activity.
Add Something She Loves to the Equation
If there’s something that your aging adult enjoys or finds calming, try to introduce it into what is happening. This could be favorite music, a specific activity, or even a little bit of physical activity. Adding something that she loves to the current situation can work as a distraction, enabling you to correct what you can.
Give Her Time to Recover
Once your elderly family member is a little bit calmer, she may need some time to fully cool off. You probably need some time, too. Having senior care providers available or even other family members allows you both to take a break from the situation and each other to get back to a calmer mental space.
You may not be able to avoid every situation like this that crops up, but you can become more adept at handling them.
If you or an aging loved one are considering homecare in Indian Hill, OH, please contact the caring staff at Queen City Elder Care today. Serving Cincinnati and Surrounding Communities. Call Us Today (513) 510-4410.
Michele Vollmer is a visionary leader who is perpetually searching for ways to improve, so to remain at the leading edge of the home care industry.She has served in the healthcare industry since 1989, including pharmaceutical and home health sales, as well as hospice sales and sales management.
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