Festivals and dementia agitation
The festive season is here. Dusshera just went by and now households are gearing up to celebrate the many festivals lined up in the coming days. There is certainly more than one reason people look forward to the fun frolic at this time. Not only are there festivities, members of the family get together and celebrate a joyous occasion.
Any occasion of celebration, be it a festival, marriage or even family gathering calls for planning, making preparations and few other changes to be made. However, when we have an elderly with Dementia at our place, the festivities need to be modified so that it is a comfortable experience for them as well.
Here are some specific reminders that can help:
1. Awareness: The loud environment, changes in routine, lighting and other decorations are some of the factors that can distress our elders resulting in them being in an agitated state. Thus, if this is the first celebration since the elder developed dementia, it is important to create awareness among family members, relatives and children about why the celebrations need to be different.
2. Observe: Being caregivers, it is important to observe and analyze the threshold levels of our parents i.e. what causes anxiety and stress in them, extent to which they can bear noises etc. This will help to modify the routine or and manage the celebrations accordingly, while also keeping their personal comfort in mind.
3. Maintain Routine: Everyone in the house is bound to be busy when making the arrangements for the celebration. However, it is essential to make sure the routine of our elders is not much affected by this. Normal sleep and meal time should be maintained. Their belongings should be kept at the same place to avoid them being hassled and confused.
4. Decorations and rituals: Change in environment and resulting over stimulation can result in anxiety in our parent with dementia. The décor of the house should be subtle, as too much of bling and lighting might upset them. Loud noise and glare are some of the environment triggers for confusion and irritation. Furniture needs to be placed in a way to avoid slips and falls. This will make sure there is no added confusion. Rituals may have to tone down so that it doesn’t distress the elderly.
5. Sun downing: It is symptom of dementia that involves increased confusion, irritation, disorientation and agitation towards the later part of the day. This may be accompanied with severe mood swings as well. If your loved one is experiencing it, it is better to schedule family gatherings and functions in the day time.
6. Sense of togetherness: Though the elderly with dementia is now undergoing a drastic change in her life, it is important to involve them in family celebrations and not isolate them. This may act as a contributing factor to the already existing stress, resulting in negative spiral of thoughts and behavioral problems.
7. Discuss: Taking care of a senior with Dementia should not be the job of a single family member. It is important to talk over the responsibilities and duties of care giving with your family to make sure no one person is overwhelmed.
Have a happy festive season!
We at Samvedna Senior Care aim to help seniors live happy, active and independent lives, in the comfort of their home and community through interactive caregiving.
Samvedna Senior Care was established in October 2013 with two complementary goals – firstly to provide quality home care services to seniors with limited mobility and social interaction due to various constraints, and secondly to facilitate stimulating community interaction and participation.
Our Dementia Care services are –