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Restlessness | Management Strategies

  1. The restlessness may be a result of some type of discomfort. Make sure that the person you care for is comfortable. Ensure that they are not hot, cold or hungry and make sure that they do not have to go to the bathroom.

  2. If the restlessness is due to an excess of energy, try to have the person you care for participate in daily exercise. Similarly, try to have tasks or activities to keep them from getting restless. Helpful tasks which they could perform are dusting, watering the garden or setting the table. Some recreational activities they may enjoy are dancing, playing cards or puzzles.

  3. It may be helpful to create an established schedule of activities to improve consistency and routine for the person you care for. This will help them pass the time, will give them activities to look forward to and will keep them from getting bored.

  4. A whiteboard listing the day, date, and planned activities or appointments will help the person you care for understand their day. You could try to discuss the daily schedule as well as display it. This may help keep the person from getting restless, as they know what their next activity will be.

  5. The person you care for may become restless with activities they find boring. They may be more likely to participate in an activity that they take interest in. It is also helpful to consider the type of work or activities that they used to do in the past. For example, if they used to be a pilot, they may enjoy visiting the airport and watching planes take off.

  6. While a routine is necessary to provide familiarity and consistency for the person you care for, they may sometimes become bored with the routine. Try and find new and exciting activities to introduce to the person you care for to keep things from getting repetitive. For example, take them to an outdoor festival, craft fair or to the mall. This will be stimulating and will provide a nice change for them. Also, try and have different friends and relatives come by to visit the person you care for.

  7. Try to find out if there are particular times of day when the person becomes restless, and if you can think of reasons why this may be the case. For example, many people become restless around dinner time. This is called sundowning . This may be because they are used to preparing supper at that time. Give the person you care for a related activity such as setting the table, or ask them to help peel the vegetables. This may help reduce these feelings of restlessness.

See Also:
Symptom Library > Behaviour > Wandering
Symptom Library > Behaviour > Repetitive Behaviour
About Dementia > Alzheimer's Disease > Sundowning
Symptom Library > Personality Changes > Anxiety and Worry
Symptom Library > Personality Changes > Interest/Initiative (lack of)
About Dementia > Treatments for Dementia > Exercise
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Last updated January 9, 2019
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