Dementia can be aptly described as a group of symptoms rather than an actual condition. Aside from memory loss, compromised thinking and impaired decision-making, another commonly presenting sign of dementia is confusion. Dealing with memory loss is very challenging. Coming to terms with the realization of it is hard. Living with its outcomes is even more difficult. Owing to these new developments in the brain, braintest reviews suggests that dementia patients are often found feeling anxious and confused. This is because they are unable to organize their thoughts.
In a situation when you are unable to recognize what is going on inside you, it is natural to get stressed. Confusion and stress further lead the patient towards feeling agitated and angry. They feel helpless and frustrated which often presents itself in the form of mood swings, altered personality, and behavioral changes.
For a patient to better deal with the symptoms of dementia, it is crucial that they feel calm and relaxed. Stress has been revealed to contribute to the worsening of dementia symptoms. It leaves the patient prone to serious, life-threatening illnesses such as chronic heart disease and multiple sclerosis.
There are a variety of ways in which we can help dementia patients stay calm and relaxed. Following is a list that briefly discusses some of them.
1. Breathing Exercises:
Exercises are a great place to start any treatment. Fighting stress and anxiety related to dementia symptoms such as memory loss can be exhausting emotionally. It is not uncommon to come across patients who feel panicked. To prevent patients from going off the rails, practice breathing exercises with them to help them calm down.
It is crucial to be supportive and encouraging in such situations. The patient is already feeling quite drained. Additional stress only makes the situation worse. Try to calm them down and help them comfortably sit down with their hands on their stomach. Ask them to breathe through their nose and feel their abdomen expand. This action will ensure the oxygen is reaching their lungs. Short, shallow breaths will not bring any good. Inhale and exhale slowly and ask the patient to consciously feel their hand move back and forth with every deep breath. Ten minutes of this every time someone is feeling stressed helps them deal with symptoms of anxiety better.
Another quick way to get someone to calm down is practicing visualization. A tried and tested way to reduce stress, improve one's mood and boost confidence; visualization is particularly helpful for dementia patients. Owing to their incapability to remember certain situations, enabling patients to visualize certain circumstances helps them organize their thoughts.
The person should be asked to close their eyes and try to imagine a place that helps them feel calm, rested and relaxed. Everyone has a happy place. Ask them to visualize theirs. It could be a forest, a quiet beach, or perhaps imagining their family and friends. Ask them to focus on that image and describe every detail of it. From the colors to the sounds and the smells. Also, what they feel when they imagine that place. The more in-depth you go, the more engrossed the patient will become. This helps them become calm and happy. Once you see that they are visibly more relaxed, ask them to open their eyes slowly. This gradual progression helps the patient process their thoughts at their own pace.
Mindfulness is a practice that helps a person become more aware of the present and not worry about the past or the future. Dementia patients can significantly benefit from this exercise as they struggle with remembering details from their life. For them, it is all about the present. They don’t need to worry about the past or future. Research proves that mindfulness helps reduce depression and improves sleep in people who have dementia. These, in turn, result in an overall improved quality of life.
Animal-assisted therapy has been studied for decades and has presented amazing results. This form of therapy involves a specially-trained animal to help patients feel happier and comfortable. Animals are incredibly loving and interacting with them has been studied to boost one’s mood and helps them relax. Getting pets for dementia patients is a good idea. This is especially useful if you find them struggling to maintain their cool as well as become more interactive.
5. Tai Chi and Yoga
These meditation exercises have been in practice since decades and have proven to be very helpful for patients with dementia. Adopting a holistic approach, these exercises help the mind-body connection. Yoga is more than just stretching and practicing a variety of poses. It helps a person improve their breathing techniques and helps in mindfulness. Tai Chi, on the other hand, focuses on the movement of energy from one part of the body to another. Practicing both of these exercises can be very calming and relaxing for dementia patients.
Professionals teach tai chi and yoga the best. There are special classes for older people with limited mobility. Under professional guidance, dementia patients can perfect the art of meditation exercises and feel rejuvenated and refreshed. Over time, yoga and tai chi both help improve blood flow to the brain, improve body flexibility and enable the person to feel more relaxed.
For patients battling dementia, it is critical that they are provided with an environment that relaxes them. When in a place that is uncomfortable for them, patients often find themselves struggling with their immediate surroundings. To prevent them from going through that internal turmoil, help them concentrate and calm down. Take all aspects into consideration. Noise reduction, proper lighting, distinguished décor and keeping their belongings in easy to find places; these are just some of the small things you can do to create a safe space for them. Keep them engaged in different types of stimulating activities to help them stay focused. Additionally, try these relaxation techniques and exercises to help the patient get better.
About Ashley Rosa: Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her at twitter: @ashrosa2.