In addition to Independent Living and Assisted Living, Sagora Senior Living is proud to offer Memory Care living options for our residents. As we understand that Memory Care can be a sensitive subject and perhaps confusing and overwhelming for family members, we have launched a blog series devoted entirely to Memory Care. Our hope is that we provide educational resources, answers to frequently asked questions and support as you navigate your loved one’s Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis.
Today, we’ll be focusing on what the term “redirection” means and how you can use these strategies in caring for your loved one with Alzheimer’s. Redirection refers to ways to respond to your loved one’s anxiety and/or agitation in a way that makes them feel safe and calm. According to the national Alzheimer’s Association, anxiety and agitation may be caused by a number of different medical conditions, medication interactions or by any circumstances that worsen the person’s ability to think. Ultimately, the person with dementia is biologically experiencing a profound loss of their ability to negotiate new information and stimulus. It is a direct result of the disease.
Situations that may lead to agitation include:
- Moving to a new residence or Memory Care community
- Changes in environment
- Changes in caregiver arrangements
- Misperceived threats
- Fear and fatigue resulting from trying to make sense out of a confusing world
When agitated, individuals with Alzheimer’s can exhibit challenging behaviors, which require redirection: striking out, yelling, grabbing, de-robing, etc. Below are some techniques that can be utilized to get back on track. It’s important to understand that these behaviors are not personal and a result of the disease process.
- Take a calm and confident approach, do not raise your voice.
- Empathize and do not argue, try to understand that they are stressed and confused and need help.
- Smile, make eye contact, apply light touch and a relaxed posture.
- Ask questions. Say something like, “May I help you? You’re safe here. Everything is under control. I apologize. I’m sorry that you are upset. I know it’s hard. I will stay with you until you feel better.”
- Introduce alternative activities such as music, art or anything that will distract your loved one from the stressor.
If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, we’re here to help. Our Memory Care experts are here for you and for every need along the way. Our residents can even experience a true continuum of care as they have the ability to transition from Independent Living to Assisted Living to Memory Care as needed. For more information on our communities, contact information and how to schedule a virtual tour, click here.