Tag: Montgomery County dementia home care

Responding to Pacing Behavior in Dementia

As a caretaker or family member, you may notice that sometimes a loved one with dementia can display signs of pacing. He or she may become restless, causing a need to move around. They might wander back and forth – sometimes to the point of exhaustion. Individuals who walkabout, may also feel agitated and take on repetitive moments.

When an individual with dementia starts to behave differently, this can often mistakenly be seen as a result of Dementia. It’s important to see beyond the behavior itself and think about what may be causing it. Looking at the underlying factors might help you identify the needs of your loved one and reduce these behaviors. Try to evaluate whether the pacing is problematic, or if you as a carepartner can alter your response to their behavior.

Rather than dismissing it, it is important to think about how to preserve their independence, dignity and safety.

 

So what causes pacing in Dementia?

  • Restlessness (as a symptom of dementia or a side effect of medication)
  • Relieving pain and discomfort
  • Boredom
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Feeling lost (searching for something familiar)
  • Responding to anxiety and stress
  • Need for the bathroom, hunger or thirst
  • Disorientation or confusion

Here’s how you can respond to pacing behavior:

  1.   Your loved one might wander or pace in response to basic needs like human contact, hunger, or thirst. Ensure that their basic needs are met, and that he or she is not in pain.
  2.   If night time walking or pacing is a particular issue, your loved one may have sleeping difficulties. Monitoring caffeine and alcohol consumption in the evenings, as well as avoiding daytime napping can reduce restlessness and pacing.
  3.   Constant pacing may also reveal that your loved one is not getting enough physical activity. Encouraging them to incorporate more exercise in their daily routine can reduce the spare energy exerted during restlessness.
  4.   New surroundings can trigger feelings of confusion and uncertainty. If you find that your loved one’s behavior has worsened due to a new location or surrounding, showing them familiar items can assure them that they belong. Your loved one may also need extra help finding their way about. It may be helpful to provide signs to familiarize them with their surroundings.
  5.   Offering meaningful activities that engage your loved one can relieve boredom and diminish pacing. Being occupied can provide them with a sense of purpose, keeping them mentally engaged and physically active.
  6.   If your loved one appears to be constantly distressed or the pacing worsens, call a physician to ask about possible medications that can help.

Our carepartners are dedicated to improving quality of life.  If your loved one need home care assistance or relief, our team would love to help: Contact Us Today.

Connecting through meaningful activities

One of the common mistakes we make as caregivers is to eliminate the very activities that give older adults a sense of purpose.  Our first inclination is to “entertain” instead of giving older adults a “job-related” activity.  However, older adults also need to feel needed and seen by others as productive members of society.  For many of us, productivity equates to the feeling of importance.

Assigning tasks requires creativity.  It is most successful upon taking the time to understand an individual’s unique history and personality.  For someone living with dementia, traveling back in time is common.  We can anticipate some of possible job-related activities by knowing what our clients did for work 20,30, or 60 years ago.  We piece this puzzle together through a thorough initial assessment and continued conversations with family and friends.

Sometimes job-related tasks can be accomplished by involving the client with their own care. Depending on their GEMTM level and living arrangements, clients may even want to take part in activities for other residents.  In the Diamond and Emerald stages, we need to take care to control for external stimuli that might distract from the schedule or make unnecessary changes.  For later GEM stages, we will then have to adapt tasks to ensure that the client continues to successfully complete them.

We welcome the opportunity to tell you more about our dementia care services.

Why Choose Us?

  • We focus on what our clients can do, not what they cannot.
  • There is a no cost, collaborative health and wellness assessment.
  • 24/7 availability, including holidays and weekends.
  • We are staffed with Certified Nursing Assistances (“CNA”s), not Home Health Aides.  All of our CNAs have years of geriatric experience and exhibit a passion for caring for those with progressive diseases.
  • Regular visits by licensed clinicians to ensure customer satisfaction.
  • Carepartners are employees of NursePartners, not subcontractors.
  • We seek to engage our clients in meaningful activities; we seek to exceed your expectations.
  • Our standards are higher than those set by the healthcare industry.