Tips, tools & skills, Toward better care

15 helpful hints to prevent agitation in people living with alzheimer disease and related dementias

I believe in calling a spade a spade, and in giving kudos if and when they’re due. Lately, I’ve been finding a lot of solid, practical and person-centered care tips, tools, and strategies on the Alzheimer Societies’ sites in Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as the Alzheimer’s Association site in the USA, which is where I sourced the list below. The fact that these organisations are upping their games with good information is a great thing because these organisations and their sites are often the first places new care partners go to find information.

Here’s the list of 15 ways to help prevent agitation:

A) Create a calm environment 

1 ) remove stressors, triggers or danger
2 ) move person to a safer or quieter place
3 ) change expectations
4 ) offer security object, rest or privacy
5 ) limit caffeine use
6 ) provide opportunity for exercise
7 ) develop soothing rituals
8 ) use gentle reminders

B) Avoid environmental triggers

9 ) reduce noise
10 ) lower glare
11 ) make “insecure” spaces secure
12 ) get rid of background distractions (TV, loud radio, too much talking)

c) Monitor personal comfort

13 ) check for pain, hunger, thirst, constipation, full bladder, fatigue, infections, and skin irritation
14 ) ensure a comfortable temperature
15 ) be sensitive to fears, misperceived threats, and frustration with expressing what is wanted

I’ve also put together a lengthier and more detailed list of potential sources of discomfort that many find helpful, as well as a list of 20 questions to help prevent aggression, and free 50-minute webinar with tips based on my own experience.

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