When your aging parent is being diagnosed with dementia, it can be stressful for both you and the patient as it can affect their lifestyle negatively. The stress caused by dementia can make the immune system weak and when that happens, your aging parent will become susceptible to infections. If you notice that your parent has become more agitated and always lagging out, they are definitely going through a lot of stress from their condition. Below are ways of reducing stress in dementia.
Identify and Avoid Stress Triggers
The first step to helping your loved ones relieve stress is by figuring out the cause of the stress or what triggers it. Everyone has differing stress triggers. It could be a loud noise, hunger, a new environment, too hot or too cold weather, or someone they don’t like. Even though this process may seem very tiring, it will help you decide the best way to eliminate it. Once you are able to identify their stress triggers, you can work on helping your parents to avoid them.
Music is a very soothing instrument that works as a stress reliever because of its relaxing sound. A great way for your parents to redirect their attention from stress to a fun activity is through music. Your loved ones can listen to music through headphones if loud noise is present as a trigger that can cause stress, or you can simply play soothing music in the house to create a relaxing atmosphere.
Maintaining a healthy diet is essential for all adults, whether in active independent living, assisted living, or memory care. Your aging parents with dementia can benefit greatly by maintaining a healthy diet containing well-balanced nutrients. This is essential to keep their body function running by providing and honoring this energy and stamina. It may even help to slow down the rate of cognitive decline.
Engaging in physical exercises is one of the best ways to manage stress in dementia, as it helps to distract or redirect their energy from the stress they are going through. These activities will help to reduce your loved ones’ hormonal stress levels and boost the production of happy hormones in the body. This will boost their energy and wellness while helping to stabilize their mood, improve sleep structure, and self-esteem, and increase cognitive function. The exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous or require too much time and stress. It could be a walk in the park or low-impact physical activities like tai chi and chair yoga.
Simple Household Tasks
Making your aging parents handle basic household tasks can help them feel independent and reduce their stress levels. This is one of the best ways to distract anyone living with dementia and manage their anxiety. Ensure that the tasks you give them are ones that they can easily achieve and not ones that are too challenging. Some of the basic household tasks you can assign to your aging loved ones are:
- Sweeping the floors
- Folding clothes
- … and many others