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3 Ways of Distracting a Senior Loved One Who Has Dementia

By Vicki Crow

3 Ways of Distracting a Senior Loved One Who Has Dementia

Your senior loved one will most likely be emotionally balanced and socially adept during the earliest stages of dementia, but his or her personality is probably going to change as the disease progresses. There may come a point when your loved one becomes agitated or hostile at the drop of a hat, and you need to have multiple tools at your disposal to deescalate those situations. We’ve put together a few distraction techniques that may put your loved on at ease when he or she is being confrontational or combative.

  1. Offering their favorite treats

Sticking to a healthy diet is important for seniors with dementia, but the occasional treat probably won’t have major impact on your loved one’s health.

As soon as you notice your loved one’s demeanor has changes, you can immediately ask if he or she would like a pieces of candy or a small bowl of ice cream. Don’t constantly use treats as a diversion, but i can be a good tactic when used occasionally.

Agitation, confusion, anger and frustration are just some of the common symptoms in elderly people with dementia. It can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care.


2.   Ask your loved one to hold on for a moment

If you are being asked for something that he or she cannot have, try asking for them to wait a moment. When you refuse a request, it could result in a major episode, and you should try to avoid those situations as much as possible. Instead of saying no, ask your loved one to wait for five or ten minutes while you complete a task. Once those ten minutes are up they may have moved on to another subject or task.

3. Ignore your loved one entirely

Even though it might seem counterintuitive, ignoring your loved one for a few minutes may work in some situations. As long as you’re moving around and doing something physical, your loved on may continue to watch you while the anger fades away. That being said, you must never ignore your loved one if they are being physically threatening. In these situations, you’ll need to actively distract your loved one as much as possible until the episode has passed.

The cognitive challenges that accompany dementia often leave the aging adults unable to manage everyday tasks, which puts their safety and health at risk. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Helpers Home Care, a leading provider of home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.