Table 2 Caring for a relative with agitated behaviour
StrategyCarer’s comments
Working out and responding to the cause of agitated behaviour‘If he’s hungry … and throwing a tantrum, I… put food on the table, and I get my kids… to start eating. And then he realises, oh it’s time for me to eat, maybe that’s why I’m upset’. (Daughter-in-law FC5)
Keeping a routine‘… and I realised that I shouldn’t [take him on holiday] anymore, he was writing me notes saying please, please, please will you take me home’ (Wife FC6)
Being calm, respectful and avoiding arguments‘It is very hard because you get really stressed out… it… gets you emotional, then you react emotionally… and it could escalate’. (Daughter FC14)
‘…my advice would be to be calm, if they can…’ (Husband FC13)
Keeping people safe‘But I’ve got an alarm fitted, so that if she calls, which she does, not every night but quite often, I… go down, what’s the matter’. (Husband FC3)
Allowing the behaviour to continue‘…let him rummage… it keeps him quiet and he feels as if he’s doing something…’ (Wife FC12)
Walking away‘I was getting upset, he was getting more agitated. So that’s when I started to walk away’. (Wife FC7)
Communication‘…one of the things that I do when he’s got caught in something, I try and get him to look at me and… then I can, sort of, pull him… away from what he’s doing on the table or something’. (Wife FC6)
Providing comfort and reassurance‘She’s quite difficult to reassure… we’ve tried so many different things, but I think it’s… just time, and just calm, and just holding her hand, and just almost not even replying to some of her agitation and anxiety’. (Son FC2)
Activities and interests‘She loves them [puzzle] books. She’ll sit there for hours. That is one blessing… my friends all buy her books…’ (Husband FC11)
‘He loves his music… His favourite piece of music is The Marriage of Figaro… he will listen to it and it seems to be a calming factor’. (Wife FC16)