September is World Alzheimer’s Month, and a good time to take a moment to understand how devastating this disease can be for those who suffer from it and their families. Oftentimes, family members are put in a position where they have to become caregivers of the person who develops the disease. The transition from son or daughter or other relative to caregiver can be a tough one, considering the fact that many caregivers have to give up a lot of their own freedoms to provide constant care.
New caregivers face many challenges when dealing with a loved one who has developed an irreversible, progressive disease that destroys memory and thinking skills. Their new role will require a lot of patience and flexibility as they navigate the complexities of caring for another person.
Here are some tips and reminders that caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients need to know.
Early Stage Tips
In the earlier stages of the disease, your loved one may be fully aware of their diagnosis and are dealing with their own emotions with regards to their imminent mental decline. It’s important during this stage to offer companionship and love. There may be moments when your loved one expresses anger toward the diagnosis and inability to remember small things, but it’s important to keep your cool and treat your loved one with respect.
In the later stages of the disease, your loved one will need the most help. It’s important to establish a routine and keep your loved one in a familiar setting. They may lash out and not remember why they must do something normal, and your patience may be tried, but always react to them in a calm and loving manner. Remember it’s not your loved one who is acting out; it’s the disease.
Tips for all Stages
- Be friendly and approachable with your loved one at all times.
- Don’t raise your voice and shout when your loved one is being stubborn.
- Don’t isolate your loved one from friends or social activities they enjoy.
- Do encourage family time and activities such as creating a memory book.
- Break chores into smaller tasks so that they are easier to handle.
- Always acknowledge your loved one so that they don’t feel ignored.
- Encourage easy activities such as folding laundry, coloring, or a light walk around the block.
- Do gently touch or hug your loved one if they are comfortable with it.
Caregivers can often feel alone and isolated from their own family and friends while they are taking care of a loved one. Many times, they need assistance but are afraid to ask for it and become a burden to someone else. Caregiving is stressful, but there are options available that can alleviate some caregiving duties. At 24/7 Nursing Care, we offer in-home nursing and companion care for all stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. Our staff is trained in giving the best quality care to your loved one for a short time or long term. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.
Alzheimer’s – the do’s and don’ts of caring for someone with the disease. (2018, September 02). Retrieved from https://zululandobserver.co.za/174771/alzheimers-dos-donts-caring-someone-disease/
Alzheimer’s care: Simple tips for daily tasks. (2016, April 02). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/caregivers/in-depth/alzheimers-caregiver/art-20047577