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How Do You Calm A Dementia Patient?

Calming a Dementia Patient

It is quite common for someone suffering from dementia to experience anxiety and agitation. He or she may become restless, causing a need to move around or pace, or become upset in certain places or when focused on specific details. When caring for someone with dementia, it will be important to take the proper steps to avoid environments or circumstances that may lead to agitation. When those circumstances are unavoidable, or the patient becomes agitated for other reasons, you’ll need to know how to calm them down.

Preventing Agitation

The best way to calm a dementia patient is first to reduce the chance of them becoming agitated to begin with. To reduce or prevent agitation, try to create a calm environment. You’ll also want to avoid environmental triggers like noise, glare, or background distractions, which have previously led to agitation. Be mindful of personal comfort. Knowing whether they are hungry, tired, in pain, or have an infection allows you to address the issue before it causes agitation. Finally, simplify tasks, stick to routines, and provide opportunities for exercise.

How to Calm a Dementia Patient

If the measures you’ve taken to prevent agitation fail and you need to calm a dementia patient, here are some tips to help:

Start by saying one of the following phrases: May I help you? Do you have time to help me? You’re safe here. Everything is under control. I apologize. I’m sorry that you are upset. I know it’s hard. I will stay with you until you feel better.

And then:

  • Listen to the Frustration
  • Provide Reassurance
  • Involve the Person in Activities
  • Change the Environment that’s Causing Agitation
  • Find Outlets for the Person’s Energy
  • Consult a Doctor or Specialist

If you regularly have difficulty caring for a patient who is suffering from dementia, you may want to consider hiring a home caregiver who specializes in dementia care. They would be able to help reduce stress, agitation, and anxiety in the patient, reducing the chances of outbursts or other problems.