Agitation is common with some health issues. It’s also possible if your parent is just fed up and can’t express the frustration easily. When your parent has reached that point, how do you get them to calm down?
Redirecting is a technique used regularly by caregivers to calm people with dementia. Here are some of the best ways to use this technique with your agitated dad.
Pull From Experiences He Will Related To
Your dad has Alzheimer’s and has reached a point where he’s wandering. You’ve had to install door alarms and locks. He’s frustrated because he wants to go outside without having to get someone to go with him. The more you explain to him that it’s just not possible, the more agitated he becomes.
You have to go to a level he’d understand. Without adding blame, explain that the way Alzheimer’s works is that the brain’s power declines slowly over time. He’s started wandering, which means when he has to remember directions and where he is, he’s at around the same level as a three-year-old child. Ask him if he’d have let you live alone or go outside alone for walks when you were three. He’s likely to understand that and agree that it is not safe.
Gently Ask Questions to Determine Why Your Dad’s Agitated
Start asking questions. Agitation may seem annoying to you, but it can be a sign that your dad is in pain or discomfort. A urinary tract infection is one health issue that you’d think is easy to spot, but in seniors agitation in a leading symptom. Make sure that your dad isn’t suffering from some type of infection, sprain, or muscle strain that’s impacting his mood.
Sometimes, you just need to quickly change the topic. Make it something pressing that you know he will want to discuss. For example, your dad has always put a lot of time and energy into his gardens. If he’s agitated, stop and tell him you’ve been thinking about a garden at your house. Ask for tips. He’s likely to forget what was agitating him and dive into gardening tips.
When you care for an aging parent, you need to care for yourself too. If it’s been weeks since you’ve seen friends or taking your kids to the movies, take a day off to do so. Respite care is a home care service where caregivers take over while you take time off. Call a home care agency to learn more about respite care.
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