Your senior may have always been a bit difficult to talk to or to be around, but Alzheimer’s disease can increase that difficulty by multiples. Using some of these tactics can help you to keep the atmosphere between yourself and your senior much calmer, especially if she is frequently agitated. Keeping the peace doesn’t mean that you’re sticking to realistic scenarios, though.
Avoid Triggering Topics Whenever Possible
You probably have a fairly comprehensive handle on what topics are likely to be triggering for your aging family member. Whether it’s politics or some other hot button issue, do what you can to avoid mentioning or referring to that topic at all during conversations. One tactic you can use is to keep a mental, or even a written, list of topics that you know are safe ones and do everything you can to steer conversations in those directions whenever possible. But this might not work all the time.
Get Deft at Changing the Subject
One of the aspects of Alzheimer’s disease that can throw you off balance is that your senior’s brain doesn’t work the same way that it used to work. That means that you might be in the middle of a conversation about something that is usually safe to talk about and suddenly you’re in the middle of something else entirely and your aging family member is markedly upset. For someone with Alzheimer’s disease, changing the subject can be a valid and useful technique. It serves as a distraction and can redirect her somewhere else. Practice and use this skill.
Practice Agreeing with Whatever She Says
Agreeing with your senior is another way to relieve difficult situations. You don’t have to actually agree with her to use this technique. This can be a difficult tactic for many family caregivers to wrap their brains around because it feels dishonest, especially when your senior comes up with something incredibly off the wall. But does it really hurt anything to go ahead and agree? Your senior may not be dealing with realistic situations and therefore simply agreeing can keep the peace.
Some of these techniques may feel awkward at first or you might simply be unsure how to implement them the right way. Hiring senior care providers is a great way to see some of these techniques modeled in action. You can observe how senior care providers use these techniques, practice them, and get better at putting them into use yourself.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Sterling, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.