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Tips For Helping Seniors When They Are Overstimulated

With aging, sensitivity to stimuli can increase, making it easier for seniors to become overstimulated. Overstimulation occurs when there is an excessive amount of sensory input, leading to feelings of stress, anxiety, and discomfort. This can be especially challenging for seniors, who may already be dealing with various health issues. In this blog post, we will explore practical tips that the home care team can utilize for helping seniors cope with and manage overstimulation.

Home Care: Sensory Management in Mesa, AZ
Home Care: Sensory Management in Mesa, AZ

Understanding Overstimulation

The first step to helping seniors is to understand what overstimulation is and how it can be different for everyone. When the home care team already has a relationship with the senior in their care, this is much easier, but it doesn’t take long to notice the signs with an experienced team by their side. Along with this, it’s important to understand that seniors might not verbalize their discomfort, so monitoring carefully might be the only way to realize something is wrong. Look out for signs such as restlessness, irritability, confusion, fatigue, or withdrawal.

Tips to Help With Overstimulation

It’s essential to understand that not all these tips will work in every situation. Trial and error, along with patience, is key. Additionally, it’s crucial to design a calming environment. Reduced noise and clutter, as well as the creation of a welcoming and familiar space where seniors can retreat when feeling overwhelmed, can accomplish this. Other tips are detailed below:

Establish a Routine: Seniors often find comfort in routine. Establishing a predictable daily schedule can help reduce anxiety by providing structure and predictability.

Limit Stimuli: Identify and minimize sources of excessive stimuli. This could include turning off the television or reducing the volume on electronic devices. Creating a quiet space for relaxation can be immensely beneficial.

Use Gentle Lighting: Harsh lighting can contribute to overstimulation. Opt for soft, natural lighting, and consider using curtains or blinds to control the amount of sunlight entering the room.

Encourage Open Communication: The home care team should foster an open dialogue with the seniors in their care to understand their triggers and preferences. Encourage them to express themselves when they are feeling overwhelmed and work together to find solutions.

Provide Simple Choices: Offering choices can empower seniors and give them a sense of control. However, be mindful not to overwhelm them with too many options. Keep your choices simple and manageable.

Practice Relaxation Techniques: Teach and practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or gentle stretching exercises. These techniques can help seniors manage stress and reduce feelings of overstimulation.

Be Patient and Compassionate: Patience is key when supporting seniors dealing with overstimulation. The home care team should approach situations with empathy and understanding and give them the time they need to recover.

Helping seniors navigate overstimulation requires a combination of understanding, patience, and practical strategies. By creating a supportive environment, practicing effective communication, and implementing calming techniques, the home care team can contribute to the well-being and comfort of elderly loved ones.

Sources: Source 1 | Source 2 | Source 3 | Source 4


If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Mesa, AZ please contact the caring staff at Legacy Home Care today. Call (480) 777-0070

Legacy Home Care is a top provider of home care services in Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Sun Lakes, Chandler, Gilbert, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, Phoenix, and surrounding areas.

Jack Coito

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