FlowersChallenging Behaviors for the Caregiver

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By Elisabeth A Hinman-Smith M.S.W. & Lisa P. Gwyther M.S.W.

"Lately mamma gets really agitated, fidgety and irritable around suppertime. She gets all "revved up" and it's hard to settle her down for bed."

* Be sure the person is getting adequate rest or "down time" during the day. Fatigue will increase the likelihood of late afternoon restlessness.

* Schedule more involved or taxing activities for earlier times during the day. For example, baths can be done earlier in the morning or the large family meal could be held at midday.

* Try a late afternoon snack or an earlier dinner. Even a glass of milk may help to reduce agitation.

* Distract the person with activities they enjoy. Invite them to assist you with a simple task like putting plates on the table. Be calm and reassuring in your intentions.

* Be sure the person gets some physical activity during the day. Suggest going for a walk. If all else fails, allow the person to pace where you can keep an eye on them. You might also try soothing or familiar music.

*Be sure the person's environment is well-lit. You may find it helpful to draw curtains and turn on inside lights as it grows dark outside.

(c) copyright 1996


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