Reduce Dementia Agitation with a Calm Environment: 5 Helpful Tips

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Posted Jan 17th, 2020 in Alzheimer's & Other Dementias

Reduce Dementia Agitation with a Calm Environment: 5 Helpful Tips

1.Reduce noise

Too much background noise or too many conflicting sounds can cause confusion and stress for the person with dementia. On the other hand, silence can also be unsettling so having a gentle or soft background noise can be the most relaxing. For instance, you could have a favourite radio station on low while playing familiar music.

2. Decorate carefully

It is better not to put too many things in the room of the person with dementia because it can create a confusing environment for the person. Remove or cover mirrors as the reflection can be frightening if the person mistakes their own reflection for a stranger watching them. Ensure that the walls and floors are contrasting colors as the distinction will help the person navigate around the room and reduce the risk of falling.

3. Improve lighting

Good light is very important for people living with dementia particularly older adults with poor vision. Natural light is preferred whenever possible and bright lighting whenever using electrical lights. Position electric lights to minimize shadows and pools of light and dark which can frighten the person.

4. Create a calming retreat

This is one of the most vital tips for people who have dementia because it gives the person who has dementia their own “safe zone”. It doesn’t need to be extravagant, just comfortable and relaxing, a space where the person can enjoy quiet activities like painting or dementia puzzles. 

5. Make things easy to find

Remember that for a person who is living with dementia, losing items is common and can be very stressful for them. Make items easy to find, for example, place some stickers on cupboards, listing what can be found within them. This will help the person keep a sense of independence.

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