Managing Anxiety in Someone With Dementia

Nearly half of individuals diagnosed with dementia experience anxiety, but you can help your loved one to manage anxiety by understanding its causes and having strategies in place. This may also help to prevent the worsening of cognitive function that can be caused by anxiety. Helping your loved one manage their dementia-related anxiety starts with understanding the signs and symptoms.

 

Signs of Anxiety in Individuals With Dementia

  • Agitation and irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Socially isolating themself
  • Complaining of or showing signs of muscle tension or pain
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep problems
  • Inability to concentrate

What Causes Anxiety in Individuals With Dementia?

Anxiety in someone with dementia can be caused by a lot of the same things that cause anxiety in all of us – stress, caffeine consumption, thinking about past negative experiences, conflict, etc., but there are some common triggers for people with dementia:

  • A change in routine
  • A change in environment
  • Perceived threats – many people with dementia misconstrue harmless things and situations as something more dangerous
  • Discomfort or pain
  • Fear
  • Fatigue

How To Help Someone With Dementia Manage Anxiety

Medications for anxiety usually aren’t helpful for individuals with dementia. Instead, try one of these alternative methods to reduce anxiety:

  • Music or apps
  • Exercise
  • Supplements or vitamins
  • Diet changes

Be sure to ask your loved one’s physician before starting any supplement or vitamin regimen, to make sure that it won’t interfere with any prescribed medications or cause any negative side effects.

Sundara’s Smaller Environment Means Reduced Anxiety and Agitation

Smaller, more intimate environments have been proven to reduce anxiety and agitation in people with dementia. Sundara’s smaller physical environment means that our residents feel less confused and uncertain. A smaller staff allows caregivers to interact more naturally, frequently and consistently with residents. We also limit each of our homes to 16 residents to promote greater feelings of comfort and familiarity.

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