Reduce Your Loved One’s Anxiety with Tips from Our Memory Care Experts

Learn tools to support yourself and your loved one in a challenging situation

senior-anxiety-reduce-tips

As a devoted caregiver to someone with memory challenges, anxiety or agitation are possible symptoms that occur. When these can be challenging moments, we know some effective tools you can implement so you can navigate each situation confidently. At our Memory Care Communities, mental and emotional well-being is of utmost importance to us. We have a multidimensional system of support to assist our residents. You can be confident that your loved one with anxiety will be validated and acknowledged while staying with us. When you’re on your own, we wanted to provide some tips for reducing anxiety and agitation to keep your relationship strong!

Check for Physical Discomfort

Before thinking about making any big changes to your loved one’s routine during times of anxiety, the first place to look is for physical discomfort in any form. Being observant and addressing this quickly can turn a potentially upsetting situation into one that is solved in minutes. Signs of physical discomfort may include:

  • Feeling too hot or too cold and therefore shivering or sweating
  • External aches or pains, such as a bruise or cut
  • Internal aches or pains, such as stomach ache or headache
  • Itchiness
  • Hunger or thirst
  • Fatigue

Getting in the habit of being sensitive to any small indications that your loved one is experiencing physical discomfort, such as fidgeting, wincing, or other telling body language, can build a strong sense of trust and confidence. This can be an excellent tool for keeping moments of anxiety manageable.

Manage the Environment

You might be surprised at how significantly the environment in which you spend your time affects your mood, attitude, and even level of calmness. Managing the environment refers to any changes you may need to make to ensure your loved one feels safe, welcome, and at peace as much as possible. Consider dim, warmer lights instead of fluorescent ones. Utilize minimal decorations and calming colors to reduce visual clutter. Maybe your loved one has a favorite blanket or photograph. Refer to those often and encourage your loved one to use them as an anchor when they’re anxious. If a situation of anxiety or agitation occurs, managing the environment also includes removing stressors in the immediate area or perhaps removing your loved one to a less stimulating setting. Knowing what types of lighting, temperatures, and security items to keep in mind is personal to each individual, so it may take some practice to perfect.

Create Routines

A final tip that we recommend to support your loved one who experiences occasional agitation or anxiety is to create a predictable schedule and routine for them. From the time we were children, most of us got a sense of confidence and purpose from knowing what to expect. With a plan, calendar, or agenda, as adults, we feel equipped to handle our days because we know the upcoming tasks. Similarly, your loved one can thrive when the days are predictable and consistent. This doesn’t necessarily mean scheduling every day down to the second full of activities. A simple routine that you use for meal time, hygiene time, or bedtime can go a long way in helping your loved one feel in control and at ease.

When dealing with challenging situations of anxiety or agitation, the way you respond is incredibly important. At each of our memory care communities, our sensory therapies and professionally trained staff work tirelessly to create an environment where your loved one feels supported and validated. We know that these tips are great tools to keep in your toolbelt, and we hope they’ve provided some encouragement!

For more information on any of our beautiful memory care communities, or to schedule a tour with us, contact our team today!

sunshine retirement living logo

Sunshine Retirement Living retirement living and senior 50+ retirement communities with top assisted living and memory care facilities offering resort styled care facilities nationwide.