Elders and Alzheimer’s Disease: How to Handle Troubling Behavior
Home Care in Burnsville MN
Memory loss is not the only symptom to watch for with Alzheimer’s disease; disturbing behavior may also be associated to the illness. In the early stages, the senior will become increasingly anxious, depressed, or irritable. As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, they may display verbal or physical outbursts, become restless, shred paper, and suffer from delusions and hallucinations.
It is extremely worrisome to see our loved ones in this state, but knowing how to care for them will make your caregiving role much easier. If you become too overwhelmed, a home care provider can also be hired to relieve you of these responsibilities.
Factors Behind Behavior Issues
Some health conditions and environmental influences may be the cause of the irrational behavior. Some of these health conditions include:
- Side effects of medication
- Problems with vision or hearing
- Sinus, ear, respiratory tracts, or urinary infections
Environmental influences that may be triggering this behavior are:
- A change in caregiving arrangements
- New, unfamiliar houseguests
- Being asked to change clothes or bathe
- Unable to express needs or requests
- Becoming increasingly confused
- Being admitted to the hospital for a coexisting condition
There are medications available to ease your loved one’s behavioral problems, but the Alzheimer’s Association suggests trying these non-medication treatment options first.
- Creating a relaxing environment
- Try to discover the cause of the behavior and what environmental change could have impacted it
- Tell the elder that you know they are not trying to be mean or disruptive, while staying calm
- Look into other reasons for the outburst, such as needing to use the bathroom, being constipated, thirst, or hunger
- Keep the room at a comfortable temperature and remove all noises, such as turning the TV and/or radio off
- Distract them with a different activity
- Try to get the elder to participate in some physical activities
- Ask simple requests that your loved one can easily understand
- Provide the senior with plenty of rest in between stimulating activities
- Add labels to items that may confuse them
- Remove all dangerous items from the home and install locks near the top of each door.
- Install and check smoke alarms
- Use lighting to reduce confusion at night
Try to remember that, while you may be feeling angry at how your loved one is acting, they are not doing it on purpose. It is important that you stay calm and keep their environment as relaxing as possible to reduce the number of outbursts they may have in the future.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Burnsville, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.