For many family caregivers, managing behavioral changes is one of the most challenging parts of their day. Trying to manage behaviors such as agitation and wandering may leave you feeling exhausted at the end of the day, and you may have serious concerns about how negative behavior changes affect your relationship with your loved one. While you may not be able to change all of the behaviors, you can use the following tips to help your loved one maintain more control over his or her emotions.
1. Check for a Physical Cause
Any major changes in your loved one’s behavior should be assessed by a physician because health conditions such as dementia may cause your loved one to experience personality changes. Even living with long-term pain could cause your loved one to lash out. If you are concerned about your loved one’s reaction to bringing up the behavior with his or her doctor, consider calling ahead to express your concerns so the physician will be on the lookout for warning signs of conditions such as dementia.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia home care. Des Moines seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.
2. Address Safety Concerns
While you might be able to ignore your loved one’s angry outburst, there are some times when negative behaviors might be dangerous to his or her safety. For instance, a senior who suddenly starts to engage in risky behaviors such as gambling or drinking alcohol to excess may need professional assistance to get the issue under control. Wandering is another behavior that must be addressed immediately. Consider setting up an alarm system to alert you when your loved one tries to leave the house, or arrange for another caregiver to watch over him or her when you cannot be present.
A caregiver can help your elderly loved one manage his or her health in a variety of ways. If your loved one needs encouragement to exercise more often, eat healthier foods, or socialize on a regular basis, an in-home caregiver from Home Care Assistance Des Moines can address these and many other health-related concerns.
3. Use Empathy
Your loved one’s recent behaviors may cause you to lose your temper. However, getting angry won’t help. If necessary, take some time away to get a grip on your emotions. Whether you need a five-minute break or an hour away each day, make sure to take the time you need to regain your composure. This way, you can respond to your loved one with empathy that lets him or her know you only have his or her best interests in mind.
4. Reduce Your Loved One’s Frustration
Your loved one may be reacting to changes in health that limit daily activities. For example, you may find your loved one gets angry when trying to prepare a meal or get dressed. Observe your loved one’s daily routine to find ways to assist with day-to-day activities. For example, using a dressing aid or having someone help with meal preparation might be all it takes to keep your loved one relaxed.
5. Try Changing the Daily Routine
Seniors with dementia thrive on a routine, and it is possible that your loved one’s routine has been disrupted or needs adjustment. Help your loved one develop a regular time for waking up, eating, and going to bed. This way, he or she benefits from the reassurance of knowing what comes next during the day.
If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality elder care, Des Moines Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age. To hire a professional caregiver for your elderly loved one, call us at (515) 264-2438 today.