Helping a Loved One with Dementia Handle Mood Swings

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Mood swings are common for people with dementia, and facing a sudden shift in a senior parent’s behavior can be difficult for a caregiver. While you cannot always control your loved one’s emotions, you can use a few simple strategies to end negative behaviors faster and prevent most from occurring in the first place. Try experimenting with these methods to see what works best for managing your loved one’s sudden mood changes.

Look for a Reason for the Anger

Certain mood swings should raise alarm bells in your mind. For instance, most seniors with dementia don’t get irrationally angry for no reason. If your loved one suddenly lashes out or begins shouting, take it seriously. You may discover he or she is cold, in pain, or extremely frustrated with a specific situation once you do some investigating. 

Symptoms such as agitation, confusion, anger, and frustration are common in elderly people with dementia. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Prescott seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

Try Offering Food or a Drink

Memory loss and confusion are worsened when seniors with dementia have low blood sugar or are dehydrated. If a mood swing comes out of nowhere, check the last time your loved one ate or drank. Then offer a meal or a snack with water, depending on the time. If nothing else, eating may soothe your loved one and shift his or her mind to a better perspective.

Alternate Pleasant and Unpleasant Activities

Your loved one’s mood swings may be linked to frustration or anxiety felt when having to perform a certain task. For instance, many seniors with dementia fear water, which makes bath time upsetting. If possible, try to precede and follow any unpleasant task with activities your loved one enjoys. This way, you can talk about what your loved one just did or what will happen next to take his or her mind off what’s happening. 

The cognitive challenges that accompany dementia often leave 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 Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care Prescott, AZ, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Find Ways for Your Loved One to Help

Your loved one may be bored or feeling helpless if he or she shows a shift in mood while you’re managing other chores. If this is the case, offer your loved one a task he or she can easily manage. For instance, he or she could help you match socks or unload the dishwasher. Providing a sense of purpose can help your loved one stay busy, and he or she may feel a sense of control.

Keep Visits Short

Socialization is always encouraged for seniors with dementia. However, your loved one’s mood may change if he or she begins to get tired from trying to communicate. Shifts in mood could occur if your loved one gets confused about the role a person plays in his or her life. Encourage your loved one’s visitors to keep their stays short, and help them watch for cues that your loved one has had enough for the day, such as refusing to speak or looking off in another direction.

Use Distractions

Many mood swings can be instantly stopped by shifting attention to a different activity. Try playing a song if your loved one gets upset watching television, or you could pull out a memory box if he or she gets antsy while you clean.

Caring for a loved one with dementia is a challenging task for anyone. The responsibilities can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Prescott home care service provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. We will work with you to create a customized home care plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Home Care Assistance team at 928-771-0105 today.