Do you have a loved one suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease? If so, you may already know that intense, emotional outbursts are part of the picture. Is there a way to manage screaming and crying in dementia-afflicted individuals?
If you’ve already experienced this, you’ll be nodding your head as you read it. It is not uncommon for someone with dementia to yell, at the top of their lungs, “Help! Help!” For long periods, they may cry inconsolably. For both of you, this can be upsetting and disturbing.
Additionally, because they can’t precisely tell you why they are distressed, the person with dementia can feel extremely frustrated. They won’t or can’t stop the behavior and you have no idea how to be of assistance.
Here, we are going to explore crying and screaming causes most commonly experienced in people with dementia. You may be able to calm the situation quickly. To reduce the intensity and frequency of episodes, we’ll also look at some long-term suggestions.
Why The Outbursts?
There can be any number of causes for crying and/or screaming experienced by people with dementia. Here are some of them:
- Busy, loud environment
- Sundowning symptoms
- Delirium, delusions, or hallucinations
- Feeling loss or sadness
- Feeling agitated, overtired, frustrated, or overwhelmed
- Discomfort or physical pain
With prescription medication, non-drug medications, and/or a combination of both, the agitation and distress associated with these behavior triggers can improve.
Fast Management of Dementia-Related Crying and Screaming
To immediately handle a situation involving crying and screaming, the following are important steps to take:
- Remain as calm as possible
- Try to figure out what the trigger or cause of the reaction is
- Listen carefully and observe for any clues
- If there are physical needs, see to them as soon as possible
- Use techniques of a calming nature
- Use comforting activities to redirect and distract the person in question
Suggestions for Comforting Activities
- Have a favorite drink or snack handy
- Give them a sense of purpose by inviting them to help you with something
- Offer comfort with a soothing hand or through some type of touch
- Use a baby doll, favorite stuffed animal, beloved pet for comfort
- Get a refreshing dose of nature by venturing outside
- Choose a favorite song and sing along or listen
To try and discourage or lessen future episodes, try the following:
- Ask that all medications be reviewed by the person’s doctor
- Consider some type of pain management if discomfort is the trigger
- Test your theories as to what possible causes may be
- Make sure that the possibility of depression has been evaluated
- A daily routine should be established
- The calmer the environment, the better
- Consider what the daily frustrations are and try to reduce them
- Explore possible new medications with the person’s physician
Do You Have A Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia?
Several living options are offered at Regency Pointe including SHINE® Memory Care. An adventure of self-discovery, our premier program helps those with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other memory-related illnesses rediscover camaraderie, belonging, fun, enjoyment, self-assurance, self-worth, and self-sufficiency.
We have adapted the environment with certain factors in mind including a focus on the design of our neighborhood, life enhancement, nutritious dining, high-quality training for our care team, and communication. In the best way possible, your loved one will be cared for at all times – you have our promise.
Schedule a tour to see, in person, this enriching environment steeped in southern tradition. If you have questions, you can contact us at 256.456.0016. With sales and leasing inquiries, please call 256.269.1919.