1880 S Dairy Ashford Rd, Suite 650, Houston, TX 77077

How to Help Seniors with Dementia Manage Stress

Seniors living with dementia undergo many changes throughout the diagnosis and progression of the disease. They experience many symptoms, such as memory loss, wandering, difficulty speaking, and trouble expressing their thoughts. A combination of different dementia symptoms, treatments, and medication effects can lead to anxiousness, frustration, and stress.

According to researchers at the University of California Irvine, stress significantly hastens the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease – one of the most common forms of dementia. The findings recommend managing stress and reducing certain medications prescribed to slow down the progression of the disease. So, seniors need to experience lower stress in their daily lives. Consider implementing the following strategies to help your loved ones with dementia manage stress.

Identify the Root Cause of Stress

Seniors with dementia feel stressed for various reasons, such as changes in surroundings, unfamiliar noises, or inconsistent daily routines. The key to relieving stress in seniors with dementia is identifying the root cause of stress. Observe your loved one’s daily routine, actions, and surroundings to determine stress triggers.

Once you have identified the trigger, make some changes, and observe their behavior to determine if you have reached the root cause. For instance, if you notice your loved one feeling stressed out when it’s too cold, change the temperature in your home and offer them a cozy sweater or blanket. If this helps them become calm, the temperature might have been bothering them.

Seek Help from a Memory Care Home

It can be challenging for caregivers to juggle multiple priorities and identify stressors bothering their loved one. If you cannot attend to your aging parent or grandparent round the clock, consider seeking help from a memory care home. Look into memory care homes for people with dementia and ask how they deal with stress. Reputable care homes have different strategies to offer seniors the support they need to be comfortable and safe. This often involves a home equipped with registered nurses, a high staffing-to-resident ratio, and a home-like environment.

Consulting a specialized care home can take the guesswork out of the process and allow you to provide your loved one with the attention they need. This can be highly beneficial for stress management as unresolved stressors can lead to further progression of the disease and other health problems, such as high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression.

Reduce Uncertainties in Daily Routine

People with dementia thrive on familiarity and a daily routine. Sudden changes to their routine every day can cause stress and lead to other health problems. Creating a daily routine that allows your loved one to feel at ease is important.

good routine offers structure to the day and allows balance for daily activities. Establishing a routine will help your loved one maintain their abilities, reduce anxiety and stress, and offer room for independence. This may involve setting fixed timings for meals, showers, and physical activities.

Consult Doctor for Medication Adjustment

Some medications for dementia can affect seniors differently. A medication well-suited for most seniors may not necessarily suit your loved one. The best way to identify if any specific medication triggers stress in your loved one is by consulting their doctor. The doctor can investigate the ingredients and adjust the medication if needed, which can help you identify if the medication is causing stress or if you need to consider other factors.

Seniors with dementia already go through a whirlwind of changes in their life. The last thing they need is to experience stress daily. Consider implementing the strategies in this guide to help your loved one live at ease.