People with Alzheimer’s disease do experience agitation, anger, and aggression. The episodes may follow specific events or seem to come out of nowhere. Recognizing the triggers will help you manage the episodes as soon as they begin. Sometimes, distraction techniques work best to ease the sudden mood swings.
Dolls are one way to ease agitation. Many people find that Alzheimer’s patients respond well to dolls. Before you take that route, make sure there isn’t an underlying reason for the agitation.
Rule Out Other Factors First
Start by ruling out other issues. A urinary tract infection often causes agitation and sudden mood changes. It may be hard to determine when a UTI is present, but you can pay attention to cues like frequently going into the bathroom, having more accidents than usual, or not wanting to drink as much.
Some of the other factors that may cause agitation are being in a new location, experiencing someone new, or a lack of sleep. Sundowning can impact mood. If your mom or dad is being pushed to do something, such as take a bath or join in a group activity, frustration and irritation may also build.
If any of those explain the agitation, it’s easy to address. Let your mom or dad skip a shower right at that moment. Sundowning may be eased by making sure the lights in the room are bright. Lack of sleep is eased by avoiding naps and creating a setting that’s conducive to sleep, such as using white noise and lavender to help with relaxation.
How Do Dolls Help?
When a doll is introduced to someone with Alzheimer’s, there’s an instinctive need to care for that baby. Focus shifts to holding, loving, and caring for that “baby.” That helps reduce the stress and frustration the person feels at that moment.
Dolls often get people with Alzheimer’s to sing or hum as they would if it was a real baby. The rocking motion is soothing. The distraction of needing to keep the baby clean, dry, and safe is a beneficial distraction.
You can’t introduce a doll too early. If you do, your parent may shoot it down as being unnecessary. It’s best for the latter stages of the disease.
Don’t Let the Agitation Weigh You Down
Everyone tells you that it’s the disease impacting your parent’s mood. When the constant mood swings are causing you to feel sad and down, it’s important to focus on your own needs. You can be there for your mom or dad, but you don’t have to be there so much that you’re becoming anxious or depressed.
Senior care services help by allowing you to step away. Senior care providers can fill your role as a carer while you take a break. Call our senior care professional to set up respite care.