Would you know which steps to take to help calm down a senior with dementia? If you are caring for or visiting with someone who has dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, we recommend knowing a few effective strategies that can help you de-escalate the situation and move onto problem-solving. There are several techniques that we find particularly useful, and we’re sharing them with you below. Read on to learn how you can best help someone with dementia calm down.
Mirror Their Emotions.
Do your best to begin mirroring the senior’s emotions. This involves playing on their body’s natural responses so you can match their distress levels. This can help you learn how they are feeling, show them that you sympathize and care about their frustrations, and gather clues about what exactly is wrong.
Take Deep Breaths.
As you continue to mirror the senior’s emotions, you can also start to take deep and exaggerated breaths if you notice them begin to mirror you back. As the senior begins to take deep breaths of their own, help them focus on big exhales, which can relax their ribcage and allow them to take in more oxygen.
Take Their Hand.
Another method you can try is to simply offer to take the senior’s hands in your own. This is a kind and encouraging gesture known as the hand-over-hand technique that helps to calm as well. Often times, the senior may already be reaching out to you, as this is common in many seniors with dementia.
Use Heartbeat Rhythm.
Next, as you have the senior’s hands in yours, you can try out a method that mimics the rhythms of a heartbeat. Begin doing so by gently pumping the senior’s hands. This is another comforting and reassuring gesture. Just be sure they are not experiencing any discomfort as you do so.
Home Care Assistance of Carmel knows about the challenges associated with caring for a senior loved one with dementia and helping them cope with the disease. We understand this is not an easy time for anyone involved. But we are here for you every step of the way to offer you our full support. If you would like to learn more about our world-class Alzheimer’s and Dementia care services, reach out to our caregivers at any time.