One of the issues with visiting a family member in a care home who has dementia is that certain situations can be very difficult. This patient has largely lost his or her ability to rationalize like an adult, which means that conflicts over completely trivial matters can often cause problems. Even if you're the calm and patient type, you can easily become exasperated and the situation can escalate. It's important to be able to call a time out when moments get difficult. You and the patient can take several minutes apart in an effort to diffuse the situation. Here are some post-time out differences that you may notice.
He Or She Is Less Agitated
Dementia patients can often become agitated quickly, which can escalate a seemingly simply request or encounter into a major issue. Fortunately for those who are attempting to care for these patients, a time out can allow the agitation to melt away. Such patients, upon a few minutes of quiet time instead of continuing to have a conflict with you, can return seeming almost like a new person. For example, if you were arguing with the patient over what shoes he or she should wear, you may find that after a time out, the patient is happy to go along with your suggestion.
You Feel Calmer
When a situation with a dementia patient escalates, you can become more and more frustrated, often to the point that you're mad or confrontational. Even if you aren't proud of how you respond, you have to be able to take a time out. Spend a short duration doing something that you enjoy or, if you're too upset to do so, find an activity that will distract you. Walking on a treadmill for a few minutes, for example, may be effective at clearing your mind. You'll notice that when you reinitiate contact with the dementia patient, you're feeling calmer and more capable of dealing with the situation positively.
You Have A New Perspective
Stepping away from a difficult situation for a few minutes can allow you to return with a new perspective. Sometimes, it's so easy to be immersed in an issue that you cannot see any other way. For example, if you want to give the patient cereal for breakfast and he or she wants an egg, you may be so focused on your idea that the concept of being flexible doesn't cross your mind. Taking a time out gives you a chance to reflect, and you'll often develop a new perspective — in this scenario, you may be happy to prepare the patient an egg in the name of harmony.
To learn more, visit with professionals at a business like Americana Senior Care.Share