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Causes of Agitation in Seniors with Alzheimer’s

Causes of Agitation in Seniors with Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s affects seniors in myriad ways; increase in the level of agitation being one of them. Agitation embraces a range of behavioral issues like aggression, uncooperativeness, disinhibition, combativeness, etc. It springs from the feeling of frustration for not being able to do daily activities efficiently due to disorientation, memory loss and a decline in intellectual functioning. However, apart from this, there are some other factors that can also be a cause of agitation in seniors with Alzheimer’s.

Following is a list of some underlying causes of agitation in seniors with Alzheimer’s:

  • Pain: Verbal communication skills are usually the first to be affected at the onset of Alzheimer’s. This leads to difficulty in expressing issues like undiagnosed pain which leads to rise in the levels of agitation. Caregivers should try to understand the non-verbal cues of discomfort in such individuals and calm them down.
  • Change: Seniors with Alzheimer’s may experience difficulty in adapting to any type of change i.e. routine or place. Agitation due to this can be attributed to poor short-term memory. The best way to deal with this is to create a structured plan for the day. There should be a specific time for meals, exercise, activities, showering and rest.
  • Unmet Needs: Inability to communicate needs like hunger, thirst, etc. as well as the urge to use bathroom can be very frustrating for seniors with Alzheimer’s. So, it is important to cater to these needs at regular intervals and also ensure that medications are taken on time.
  • Fear: As Alzheimer progresses, an individual may struggle in recognizing close family members and friends. Due to this, your loved one may feel fearful and anxious leading to frustration & agitation. If you suspect such feelings as the cause of agitation, reassure your loved one calmly that all is well and try to distract them with something they like. This could be a household chore like dusting or folding clothes, a book, a conversational topic about their favorite item, a walk or a soothing program on the television.
  • Environmental Factors: Due to changes in the brain caused by Alzheimer’s, seniors may experience agitation when their environment is too chaotic or noisy. Soothing music, low voices, etc. help in creating an environment that is calm and free of distractions. This can make a huge difference in reducing agitation.
  • Lack Of Sleep: Lack of sleep often goes unrecognized as a cause of agitation in those with Alzheimer’s. If you suspect this as a cause, re-check factors such as temperature in the room, amount of light, beddings and so on.

Luvida Memory Care provides a safe and secure environment to seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The staff is well-trained to take care of the personal needs of seniors. For more information, call at (254) 613-4119 or visit 2400 Plazza Drive, (Loop 121, Auction Barn Road), Belton, TX 76513.