People with dementia may, at times, seem quite agitated.
They will seem restless, they can be repetitive, or they may act aggressively. All of these are extremely upsetting or irritating behaviors for the caregiver.
According to the Mayo Clinic and others, these agitations or restless behaviors may represent unmet needs.
First, make sure that they are not undergoing any pain that they are unable to express. Talk to your doctor.
Second, some repetitive behaviors are due to boredom. Find activities.
- Change the channel or turn off the television when there are programs with disturbing material. People with Alzheimer’s and dementia can confuse what is on TV for real life, and may become distressed.
- Limit the person’s choices so they feel less overwhelmed. For example, lay out two outfits for them to choose between instead of a whole closet of clothes.
- Find out if they are hot, cold, thirsty, hungry or constipated and can’t tell you.
- Get some distractions on hand, such as worry beads or rummage box.
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