30 tips to help reduce anxiety in dementia care

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We all get anxious sometimes. It’s normal. Often it seems that people who live with dementia experience anxiety more than others. Maybe they have more to be anxious about. Maybe they are more sensitive to stimulation or lack of stimulation. Maybe they become more anxious in particular circumstances or at certain times.

Here are 30 tips to reduce anxiety and stress levels of people living with dementia and their care partners:

  1. minimize medications (and thus their side effects)
  2. remember: everyone experiences anxiety sometimes
  3. provide extra full-spectrum light
  4. track triggers, and reduce them where possible
  5. avoid anticipating “bad behaviour”
  6. avoid caffeinated beverages
  7. avoid alcohol
  8. stick to routines
  9. remember: different things work for different people
  10. remember: what works today may or may not work tomorrow
  11. avoid agitating television (e.g. Dr. Phil)
  12. be physically active each day
  13. don’t be too physically active each day
  14. help the person living with dementia expend “excess energy”
  15. suggest an enjoyable activity
  16. remember: everything is not always “fixable”
  17. stay calm (but don’t tell them to “calm down”!)
  18. minimize loud noises
  19. minimize stimulation
  20. minimize stress
  21. go outside
  22. take a walk
  23. sit by a window
  24. offer a snack
  25. comfort and empathize
  26. agree and validate
  27. play calming music
  28. use touch
  29. remember: even the best batters strike out
  30. remember: all things pass

Do you have more tips? I’d love to hear them!

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Image copyright: creatista / 123RF Stock Photo

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