Table of contents:
- How to talk to the elderly with mental confusion
- How to keep the elderly with mental confusion safe
- How to take care of the hygiene of the elderly with mental confusion
- What to do when the elderly person is aggressive
To live with an elderly person with mental confusion, who does not know where he is and refuses to cooperate, becoming aggressive, one must remain calm and try not to upset him so that he does not become even more aggressive and agitated.
The elderly with mental confusion, which can be caused by a mental illness such as Alzheimer's or due to dehydration, for example, may not understand what is said and resist daily activities such as bathing, eating or taking medication. Find out the main causes in: How to treat the main causes of mental confusion in the elderly.
The difficulties of daily living with the confused elderly can lead to arguments between them and their caregivers, putting their safety at risk.
See what you can do to facilitate care and living in this situation:
How to talk to the elderly with mental confusion
The confused elderly person may not find the words to express himself or even not understand what is being said, not following orders, and therefore it is important to be calm while communicating with him, and should:
- Be close and look the patient in the eye, so that he/she realizes that they are talking to him/her;
- Hold the patient's hand to show affection and understanding and reduce aggression;
- Speak calmly and say a lot of short sentences like: "Let's eat";
- Make gestures to explain what you are saying, giving examples if necessary;
- Use synonyms to say the same thing for the patient to understand;
- Listen to what the patient wants to say, even if it's something they've said several times, because it's normal for them to repeat ideas.
Explain what to do
In addition, the elderly can hear and see poorly and, therefore, it may be necessary to speak louder and face the patient in order for the patient to hear correctly.
How to keep the elderly with mental confusion safe
Generally, the elderly person who is confused may not be able to identify the dangers and may put his life and that of other individuals at risk. So it's important:
- Place an identification bracelet with the name, address and telephone number of a family member on the patient's arm;
- Inform neighbors of the patient's status, in order to help them if necessary;
- Keep doors and windows closed to prevent the elderly person from leaving the house and getting lost;
- Hide keys, especially for the house and car because the elderly person may want to drive or leave the house;
- No dangerous objects visible, such as cups or knives, for example.
Close doors and windows
In addition, it may be necessary for the nutritionist to indicate a diet that is easier to swallow to avoid choking and malnutrition in the elderly. To learn how to prepare food, read: What to eat when I can't chew.
How to take care of the hygiene of the elderly with mental confusion
When the elderly person is confused, it is common to need help to do their hygiene, such as bathing, dressing, or combing their hair, for example, because, in addition to forgetting to take care of themselves, they can walking dirty, it fails to recognize the function of objects and how each task is done.
So, for the patient to stay clean and comfortable, it is important to help him/her to perform it, showing how it is done so that he/she can repeat and involving him/her in the tasks, so that this moment does not cause him/her confusion and generate aggression.
In some cases, such as in advanced Alzheimer's disease, the elderly person is no longer able to cooperate and, in these cases, the family member has to take care of the elderly person. See how it can be done in: How to take care of a bedridden person.
What to do when the elderly person is aggressive
Aggressiveness is a characteristic of the elderly person who is confused, manifesting itself through verbal threats, physical violence and destruction of objects, which can harm oneself or others.
Generally, aggression arises because the patient does not understand orders and does not recognize people and, when contradicted, becomes agitated and aggressive. In these moments, the caregiver must remain calm, looking for:
- Do not discuss or criticize the elderly, devaluing the situation and speaking calmly;
- Do not touch the person, even if it's just to caress, because you can get hurt;
- Do not show fear or anxiety when the elderly person is aggressive;
- Avoid giving orders, even simple ones, during this time;
- Remove objects that can be thrown from the patient's proximity;
- Change the subject and encourage the patient to do something he enjoys, such as reading the newspaper, for example, in order to forget what caused the aggression.
Generally, the moments of aggression are quick and fleeting and, normally, the patient does not remember the event, and after a few seconds he may have a normal behavior.
See other care you should have with the elderly at:
- How to prevent falls in the elderly
Stretching Exercises for Seniors