Anxiety in Seniors with Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Anxiety is the direct result of Alzheimer’s disease. One of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease is reduced cognition depriving the senior of the ability to interpret new information which in turn leads to anxiety. In some instances the resident is exposed to new stimuli such as a new residence or environment producing confusion and anxiety. In other instances the resident is concerned for people from the past, cannot adequately function in their environment, or responds to surrounding tension or negative emotions with anxiety. While Alzheimer’s disease cannot be cured, anxiety can be mitigated through dementia and Alzheimer care strategies.
Anxiety is a product of Alzheimer’s disease which is progressive; however, there are strategies that can be adopted to reduce resident anxiety. Instead of heightening anxiety through tension or frustration, adopt a soothing tone when speaking to the resident. Act slowly and ask permission before acting. Do not crowd the resident; back up to give them personal space. Reduce over-stimulation and add more light to help the resident interpret their surroundings. Focus on positive events to ease concerns and direct the resident to calming activities. By adopting these dementia and Alzheimer’s care strategies you may be successful in reducing anxiety and enhancing the resident’s quality of life.
Small Assisted Living Facilities
Over-stimulation and anxiety are common in larger assisted living facilities. Group activities, crowded dining halls, and unfamiliar faces can increase over-stimulation and anxiety. For many residents with anxiety, the first step is moving into a smaller assisted living facility. Small facilities have less noise, fewer people, and more familiar surroundings. To learn more about our 6-bed senior living facilities call owner Mary Garcia R.N. at (707) 695-2937.