Community Blog

Tips for Dealing with Anxiety in a Senior with Alzheimer's Disease

By Erin Carll

There are more than five million people throughout the United States who are living with Alzheimer's disease. A large percentage of these will develop symptoms that lead to negative behaviors. As a family caregiver, these behaviors can be extremely stressful and upsetting, and can make caring for your senior more challenging. Understanding these behaviors and knowing how to handle them can ease your stress and help you to give your parent the care that they need now and as they continue to progress in their disease. One such symptom is anxiety.

Anxiety in a senior with Alzheimer's disease can be caused by a wide range of issues, from their routine being disrupted to feeling out of control, confused, overwhelmed, and unsafe. A senior who feels anxious may be more likely to exhibit potentially dangerous wandering tendencies, lash out, and be uncooperative with care.

Use these tips to help you deal with anxiety in a senior who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease:

  • Create calm so that your parent can feel safe and secure in their environment.
  • Reduce sensory overstimulation. This can include lowering the lights, turning off sources of sound, or removing people from the room.
  • Use your parent's words, actions, and behaviors to evaluate what might be causing the anxiety so that you can remove these issues and make them feel safe.
  • Reassure them that everything is alright, that they are safe, and that you are there to help them with their needs. If they have expressed specific fears or problems, verbalize them so that your parent feels acknowledged.
  • Do not try to correct them. Even if your parent says that they feel anxious because they see a monster or a ghost, do not try to tell them that it isn't real. This will only frustrate and upset them. Instead, reassure them that they are safe and that what they are experiencing will not hurt them.
  • Find an activity that your parent enjoys and get them involved. Distracting them and utilizing their mind can ease this anxiety and make them feel calmer and more in control.

If you are caring for a senior adult who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting elderly care for them. Whether they are just at the beginning of their journey and starting to show symptoms of the disease, or have progressed to a more advanced stage and are dealing with challenges and needs that are beyond what you feel that you can manage comfortably and effectively, an elderly home care services provider can help. This care provider can be there for your parent on a schedule that is right for them and their needs, as well as the care efforts that you are able to give them. Through a highly personalized set of services this care provider can help your parent to manage their individual challenges, limitations, and needs in a way that is right for them while also preparing them for those that may develop as they progress further in the disease. For you, this can ease stress and help you to have more peace of mind while also allowing you to take care of the other needs in your life, including yourself.

https://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-agitation-anxiety.asp

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elderly care in Zelienople, PA, please call the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (412) 201-0712.