5 Strategies for Handling Mood Swings in a Loved One with Dementia
By Beth Brown 9 am on
Managing dementia-related mood swings is a difficult task for many caregivers, and these emotional outbursts can take place multiple times a day. If your aging loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, you need to come up with some strategies to help you manage rapid mood changes. With a solid plan in place, you might be able to calm your loved one down in a matter of seconds or prevent these outbursts entirely.
1. Hear Your Loved One Out
It might be tempting to ignore your loved one or even try to reason with him or her, but those tactics rarely work on seniors with dementia. In some cases, it might be more effective to hear your loved one out for a few minutes so he or she feels validated. When seniors with dementia feel as if they’re being ignored or belittled, they often lash out or become even angrier. Spending a few minutes listening could defuse the situation and put your loved one in a much better mood.Symptoms such as agitation, confusion, anger, and frustration are common in elderly people with dementia. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Palm Beach 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. Become an Expert at Distracting
Shifting focus to another object or task may make it difficult for your loved one to stay angry, and he or she will most likely forget the original cause of the agitation. One of the best distractions for seniors with dementia is music, so you might want to download songs from your loved one’s favorite band or album to your smartphone or computer. As soon as you notice a shift in your loved one’s mood, you can turn off all other distractions and put on some relaxing music he or she enjoys.
3. Identify the Triggers
A trigger is any type of sight, sound, or experience that makes a senior with dementia aggressive. Some of the most common triggers include sirens, loud commercials on the television, flashing lights, sudden temperature changes, and moving shadows. When your loved one experiences a mood swing, write down any stimuli that triggered the episode. You might be able to reduce the frequency of the mood swings by helping your loved one avoid those triggers. The cognitive challenges that accompany dementia often leave aging adults unable to manage everyday tasks, which puts their safety and health at risk. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care Palm Beach, FL, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
4. Keep Your Loved One Active and Stimulated
Boredom can be harmful to seniors with dementia, which is why you should constantly be introducing new activities to your loved one. Keeping your loved one focused on a stimulating activity could boost his or her cognitive health and reduce the risk of an emotional outburst. Painting, playing percussion instruments, flipping through old photos, and singing along to songs are all great options for seniors who have mild to moderate dementia. You should also make sure your loved one is getting plenty of exercise.
5. Consider Hiring a Therapist
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, talk therapy can minimize mood swings and enhance quality of life. This style of therapy gives seniors a chance to speak openly and honestly about all their feelings. Even in the later stages of dementia, having someone to talk to can be incredibly beneficial. As an added bonus, you’ll get a little bit of downtime during your loved one’s therapy sessions.Caring for a loved one with dementia is a challenging task for anyone. The responsibilities can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Palm Beach home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call us today at (561) 429-8292 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.