Alzheimer's Care, Blog, Elder Law Articles

What can I do to my mother’s environment to lessen her agitation?

Human behavior is greatly affected by one’s environment. Therefore, you must pay special notice to what goes on in the surroundings of a person who has dementia. That person is liable to have heightened chances of feeling fear or insecurity so he or she needs to feel safe to minimize them. Because there are so many environmental aspects that can cause worsened confusion or agitation, a continual assessment of the overall environment can help prevent agitation. A few examples of potential trouble areas include:

  • Temperature (too hot or too cold)
  • Noise (too loud or too much
  • Lighting (too bright or too dim)
  • Walkways/hallways (too cluttered)
  • People (whether they’re comfortable around them)
Look for patterns associated with typical sources of agitation, including: bathing, activities or events such as children visiting, and time of day. Address the specific issue as soon as you denote a pattern. It might mean changing visiting or showering times. While these issues might seem relatively insignificant to you or most people, they can be a HUGE issue to your loved one. Therefore, try to set up environments that are laid back and can help ease agitation. What is best? Whatever works for your loved one. Some examples of calming effects are:
  • Playing a favorite kind of video or music
  • Sititng in front of a fireplace
  • White noise, such as a fan or other motor hum
  • Getting fresh outside air
  • Burning fragrant candles or incense
  • Bird watching
  • Anything else that is known to decrease agitation for your loved one