When someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia is distressed or upset, the first thing to do is help them calm down. Reducing their agitation will allow you to figure out what’s wrong or help solve the problem.
In these situations, whatever threat or concern they’re experiencing is very real to them, so asking them to calm down or explaining why they don’t need to be worried won’t work.
What’s usually more effective is using a few simple techniques that rely on the body’s natural responses to bring calm. We found an excellent free video where expert dementia educator Teepa Snow demonstrates these helpful techniques.
Here, we highlight Teepa’s 4 key actions to take when working to calm down someone with dementia. After you’ve used these techniques to de-escalate the situation, you can move on to problem-solving.