Looking to become a Helper? Click here

A dependable support community you can trust

Coping With Agitation in Dementia

Aged Care

Updated 25-01-2024

Coping With Agitation in Dementia

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be a challenging journey, particularly when faced with behavioural changes such as agitation. Understanding how to effectively manage agitation can significantly improve the quality of life for both the individual with dementia and their caregivers. This article delves into strategies and approaches to coping with agitation in dementia, adhering to best practice standards and compassionate care principles.

Understanding Agitation in Dementia

Agitation in dementia is a common symptom that can manifest in various ways, including verbal or physical aggression, restlessness, excessive pacing, or general emotional distress. This behaviour is often a form of communication; it's the individual's way of expressing discomfort or unmet needs when they can no longer do so verbally due to cognitive impairment.

Identifying Triggers for Agitation

The first step in coping with agitation is identifying potential triggers. Common triggers may include:

  • Environmental factors such as noise, lighting, or crowded spaces
  • Physical discomfort, including pain or the need to use the restroom
  • Psychological factors like fear, confusion, or feeling overwhelmed

By maintaining a regular routine and keeping a log of incidents, caregivers can often pinpoint the cause of agitation and take steps to mitigate it.

Creating a Calm Environment

To minimise agitation, it's important to create a calm and safe environment. Tips for achieving this include:

  • Keeping the living space uncluttered and familiar
  • Using soft, soothing colours and lighting
  • Limiting the number of people in the room at one time
  • Playing gentle music or sounds that the individual finds comforting

Communicating Effectively

Communication plays a key role in managing dementia-related agitation. Strategies include:

  • Using simple, clear sentences and a calm, reassuring tone
  • Making eye contact at the person's level to provide a sense of security
  • Avoiding confrontation by not arguing or trying to reason with irrational beliefs
  • Distracting or redirecting focus to a favourite activity or topic

Non-Verbal Communication Techniques

As dementia progresses, non-verbal cues become increasingly important. Some techniques to consider are:

  • Offering a gentle touch or holding hands to convey reassurance
  • Using body language that is open and non-threatening
  • Pacing verbal communication with the person's ability to process information

Personalised Care Strategies

Every individual with dementia will respond differently to various interventions. Personalised care strategies may include:

  • Tailoring activities to the person's former interests and abilities
  • Ensuring basic needs such as hunger, thirst, and comfort are met
  • Keeping the individual engaged with meaningful tasks to provide a sense of purpose

Medication and Professional Support

While non-pharmacological approaches are preferred, medication can sometimes be necessary to manage severe agitation. It is crucial to work with healthcare professionals to determine the most appropriate treatment, balancing efficacy with the potential for side effects.

Training and Support for Caregivers

Caring for someone with dementia can be emotionally taxing. Accessing training and support can equip caregivers with the skills needed to handle challenging behaviours effectively. Support may come in the form of:

  • Support groups and forums where experiences and strategies can be shared
  • Professional training on dementia care techniques
  • Respite care services to provide caregivers with a break

Conclusion

Coping with agitation in dementia requires patience, understanding, and a tailored approach that considers the unique needs of the individual. By identifying triggers, creating a calm environment, communicating effectively, and implementing personalised care strategies, caregivers can significantly reduce the frequency and severity of agitation. It is also vital to collaborate with healthcare professionals and access support systems to ensure the well-being of both the person with dementia and the caregiver. With the right approach, it is possible to provide compassionate care that maintains dignity and enhances the quality of life for individuals living with dementia.

About the Author

Olivia is a seasoned professional with an extensive career spanning the Aged Care sector, bringing decades of experience to her role. Her comprehensive understanding of Aged Care services and practices is a testament to her dedication. Olivia’s gratitude extends to those who have generously shared their knowledge and insights with her over the years, contributing to her wealth of expertise.

Olivia’s articles reflect her commitment to practical and informative content. They skillfully combine her industry know-how with real-world insights, providing valuable resources for navigating the complexities of the Aged Care sector. Olivia stands as a reliable advocate for delivering compassionate and effective care to elderly individuals, offering her support not only to fellow care workers and professionals but also to those seeking to gain a deeper understanding of the sector.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Examples of Care and Support in Aged Care?

The landscape of aged care is one that is constantly evolving, with the emphasis on not only extending the lives of the elderly but ensuring these years are lived with dignity, respect, and fulfilm... read more

What Are Support Needs in Aged Care?

As people age, they often require additional support and assistance to maintain their quality of life and meet their health and welfare needs. Understanding what constitutes support needs in aged c... read more

What Are the Three Main Categories of Assistance in Aged Care?

Aged care assistance is categorized broadly into three main areas: personal care, medical care, and lifestyle and emotional support. These encompass an array of services designed to meet the divers... read more

What Are Three 3 Examples of Activities of Living in Aged Care?

As we reach our golden years, the ease with which we once completed our daily activities can diminish. Ageing can lead to a reduction in strength, mobility, and cognitive abilities, necessitating a... read more

What Does a Care Worker Do in Aged Care?

In the era of an aging population, aged care remains a critical sector in the provision of comprehensive support services. A care worker in this field performs a multi-faceted role, aimed at enhanc... read more

Why Choose Kinder Caring for Your Home Care Needs?

Contact us today to discover how our personalised care plans can make a significant difference in your life, upholding our commitment to care and compassion.

A dependable support community you can trust

Tradition of Trust & Excellence

At Kinder Caring, we stand as guardians of a 25-year heritage, offering top-notch home care services. Our deep understanding and vast experience make us an ideal choice for those seeking excellence in community care.

A dependable support community you can trust

Tailored Care for Your Lifestyle

We specialise in creating personalised care plans, understanding each client’s unique needs. Our Care Managers ensure every care aspect is bespoke, valuing each individual’s distinct preferences and requirements.

A dependable support community you can trust

Empowering Your Choice

Kinder Caring respects your decision-making freedom. Choose between our in-house experts or skilled independent contractors for care that perfectly fits your lifestyle, providing genuine flexibility.

A dependable support community you can trust

Decades of Service

Over 25 years, Kinder Caring has dedicated over 2.5 million hours to supporting more than 7,400 individuals, reflecting our commitment to impactful, high-quality care.

A dependable support community you can trust

A Community of Professionals

Our team, chosen for skill and compassion, forms the backbone of Kinder Caring. We focus on building a strong, caring team committed to your comfort and well-being.

A dependable support community you can trust

Accreditation & Improvement

Kinder Caring’s adherence to the ACIS and investment in ongoing staff development reflect our commitment to providing care that meets the highest quality and contemporary standards.

A dependable support community you can trust

Building Trusted Relationships

We’re more than care providers; we’re partners in your health journey. With a widespread network and collaborations with funding organisations, we offer accessible, superior care across NSW, QLD & VIC.

A dependable support community you can trust

Join the Kinder Caring Family

Choosing Kinder Caring means joining a family dedicated to your independence and well-being. Be part of our 25-year journey, continuing our legacy of impactful, caring service.

Our happy clients

Bridging the gap between you and an enhanced quality of life, Kinder Caring is committed to nurturing your independence, and delivering compassionate care in the comfort of your home.

A dependable support community you can trust

We’re immensely grateful for Kinder Caring’s assistance over the past months. A special shoutout to Nicole Coupland, who has been an exceptional carer for Mum. Thank you for your unwavering support.

- Carolina,
Willoughby, NSW
A dependable support community you can trust

We are so pleased with the care Dad has been receiving from Kinder Caring, especially from Aster. She has shown professionalism and dedication. We appreciate the company’s flexibility in accommodating our requests, like Aster wearing a mask and gloves. The temporary rail adjustments and the proactive approach in ensuring the best care for Dad is commendable. Thank you, Kinder Caring.

- Karin,
Kealba, VIC
A dependable support community you can trust

Kinder Caring has been exceptional in their service. They provided a wonderful carer who is exceptional at what she does. Not only did they promptly get my quote approved, but they also took care of my window cleaning needs and organized transportation for my medical appointments. I couldn’t be happier!

- Maria,
Melton, VIC
A dependable support community you can trust

There was so much more to caring for Dad than we ever thought. Kinder Caring provided everything we needed to support us; they became part of our family… they made a difficult time so much easier for us.

- FIONA,
Lindfield NSW
A dependable support community you can trust

A huge thank you to all the nurses at Kinder Caring. Having your expertise, caring attitude and ongoing advice meant we did not have to place Dad into a nursing home or send him to hospital and therefore his last days spent with Mum and the family were very special for us all.

- JOHN,
Mt Waverley Vic

Experience Exceptional Home Care with Kinder Caring!

Unlock 25 Years of Trusted Expertise: 2,500,000+ Hours of Dedicated Care delivered to 7,400+ people from 560,000+ Personalised Services

Your Journey to Peace of Mind Starts Here. Contact Us Today!

1300 796 675