Many people mistakenly believe that the symptoms of dementia are limited to memory-related experiences, such as forgetfulness. However, research suggests that up to 80% of people with dementia also experience anxiety and agitation, which can cause emotional distress for them as well as for their caregivers.
Agitation is a general term describing a restless or upset state in which a person displays excessive motor activity or verbal or physical upset. Agitation can be caused by a number of factors, including medication changes, environmental changes, or any other situation that introduces a new stimulus that is difficult for the person to process. Situations that can cause agitation include changes in residence, changes in caregiver arrangements, travel, or the unfamiliarity associated with new people, events, or locations.
Fortunately, the caring staff at Stone Valley Assisted Living and Memory Care Community is trained and experienced in preventing agitation in their valued residents. Stone Valley has provided the following tips to caregivers who want to prevent agitation in their loved ones.
One of the most common causes of agitation in those experiencing memory challenges is their environment. If their environment is changed or has too many stimuli, your loved one may have difficulty processing this information and may become agitated. Here are a few things you can do to create a calming environment:
The professionals at Stone Valley have carefully designed their community to provide a calming, steady environment for the residents, including comfortable living spaces and productive, enjoyable daily routines.
For those living with memory challenges, participating in a familiar activity that they enjoy can have a relaxing effect as well as provide an opportunity to connect with others. Therefore, the staff at Stone Valley has created an activity calendar full of both physical and mental activities to keep residents engaged and happy.
Those with memory challenges may experience particular benefits from era-appropriate music, which the community incorporates into its music therapy activities. According to the Mayo Clinic, listening to or singing songs can help prevent agitation. The benefits of music are often amplified when combined with movement like dance or clapping along to the beat. Music can also help residents relax and connect with their neighbors and caregivers.
To keep residents happy and engaged, Stone Valley provides specially designed memory care activities programming, including music therapy, aromatherapy, appropriate physical activity, and plenty of opportunities to socialize with neighbors.
Physical discomfort can cause agitation. Unfortunately, your loved one may have difficulty communicating their needs prior to becoming agitated. In order to prevent agitation, address your loved one’s pain, hunger, thirst, toilet needs, fatigue, and any infections or skin irritation. Make sure they are dressed in comfortable clothing that fits and ensure that the room is a comfortable temperature.
In addition, frequently check with your loved one’s doctor regarding any medications that could cause agitation, particularly sleeping pills, anxiety medication, or pain medication.
The staff at Stone Valley is trained to monitor residents’ needs, even when those needs are not verbally communicated. Residents enjoy delicious meals, safe and comfortable spaces, and enjoyable activities, all of which prevent agitation and provide a superior quality of life.
To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Stone Valley, contact our friendly team today.