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Easing Alzheimer’s Anxiety

Understanding and working to minimize environmental stressors will allow Alzheimer’s patients to live more comfortably.

Seniors with Alzheimer’s, and other dementias, experience an overwhelming loss of abilities, particularly with negotiating new stimuli and information. It is a very specific dementia-related symptom that can cause profound anxiety and agitation in the afflicted person. By understanding what causes stress for those seniors living with dementia and how to minimize and/or prevent such situations, all persons affected by Alzheimer’s, or another dementia, can experience success in living with this challenging diagnosis.

1. Causes of Anxiety and Agitation in Seniors with Alzheimer’s and other Dementia:

  • Changing residences
  • Changes in senior home care arrangements
  • Travel, hospitalization, houseguests, or other environmental changes
  • Misinterpreted threats
  • Ineffective attempts at communication

2. Preventing and Reducing Anxiety:

  • Maintain calm environments – Remove noise, background distractions and other stressors. When agitation arises, move the person to a safe, quiet place or offer them an item they find soothing.
  • Keep routines simple – Easy, consistent everyday routines minimize the possibility for stressors.
  • Monitor comfort – Things like hunger, thirst, sleepiness, sore joints, full bladders, overheating, and skin irritations create anxiety. Be patient when desires are being expressed, as frustration can impede communication.
  • Engage in exercise – Those with dementia receiving senior home care may benefit from walks, dancing to favorite songs, stretching, and other gentle physical activities.

3. How to respond:

  • Verbiage- Use calm, positive statements. “You’re safe here. Things are under control. I know this is hard. I’m sorry you’re upset. May I help you? I can stay with you until you feel okay.” Keep your voice low and gentle and listen carefully to the person’s frustrations.
  • Actions – Keep a non-threatening distance and slow your movements. Guide the individual through a maximum of 2 options at a time to help steer him/her on a calmer path to resolution. Help the person focus on positive events, offer exercise activities, and reduce outside stimulation. Avoid showing agitation, do not crowd the person, or make sudden, unanticipated movements.

Nightingale Homecare’s dementia care program, “Connections”, has helped numerous families and patients succeed in living with Alzheimer’s and other Dementias. . We provide innovative, empathetic, and thoughtful care that has real impact in the lives of those living with Alzheimer’s. When it comes choosing a home care company for your loved one, trust the agency that trains it’s  clinical professionals and caregivers in the “Alzheimer’s Whisperer” program, implemented and guided by Dr. Verna Benner-Carson, a national dementia-care expert. For expert home care based on deep understanding of those living with Dementia, call Nightingale at (602) 504-1555 or Contact Us to speak with a dementia senior homecare specialist today.

 

Posted in Blog on October 18th, 2013 · Comments Off on Easing Alzheimer’s Anxiety

Tips for Staying Healthy During Flu Season

Peak flu season doesn’t take hold until February, but it’s still essential to get immunized as soon as possible- especially for seniors. People over the age of 70 are at high risk of acquiring the flu; seniors with chronic disorders, even more so. To help those seniors living at home prepare for the oncoming flu season, Nightingale Homecare has compiled these helpful tips:

• Get Immunized Every Year, as Early as Possible: Since our immunity to the virus declines over time, the most effective way to prevent the spread of influenza is to consistently immunize against it. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend a special high-dose vaccination for people over 65.

• Skip the Doctor’s Office: Getting a flu vaccine  has become very convenient, with many pharmacies and grocers now offering vaccinations. Often, many health plans are accepted and no appointment is necessary. Nightingale Homecare offers the flu vaccine to all of our clients.  Avoiding your Doctor’s office or any health care facility during flu season is wise unless an illness makes it necessary to visit.

• Wash Hands Often: Seemingly innocent, everyday items like doorknobs and telephones are covered in bacteria. By washing hands frequently for 20 seconds, or using convenient instant hand sanitizers  can help prevent the spread of influenza.

• Manage Everyday Health: Seniors can lower their risk of getting the flu by consistently getting enough sleep, participating in physical activities, managing stress, staying hydrated, and eating nutrient-rich foods. Healthy habits mean a stronger immune system and lowered risk of illnesses.

• Contact with Children: Children under five are also at high risk for getting the flu, so their contact with seniors should be closely supervised during flu season. Remind children who visit seniors to wash their hands, cough into their elbows, and use tissues sneezes. .

The providers of in home nursing care at Nightingale Homecare are expertly trained in taking care of seniors during even the worst flu season. From providing transportation, , shopping for nutritious foods, setting medication reminders to  administering the flu vaccine, our professional home care staff will see to your loved one’s every need during illness and beyond. Furthermore, Nightingale Homecare’s caregivers work diligently to help prevent the spread of flu by encouraging good nutrition, , promoting exercise plans, and monitoring hygiene habits. For more information on the in home nursing care services offered at Nightingale Homecare, call (602) 504-1555 or Contact Us.

 

Posted in Blog on October 4th, 2013 · Comments Off on Tips for Staying Healthy During Flu Season