Caring for a Loved One

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder that leads to the death of brain cells and impairs a person’s ability to remember, think, and behave normally. As Alzheimer’s disease advances, the symptoms get more severe; as a result, carers have increasingly difficult problems. It is helpful for people to have an understanding of the stages of Alzheimer’s disease and the symptoms that are connected with each stage.

If you are caring for a Loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia-related condition, your involvement in handling day-to-day responsibilities will become increasingly important as the disease worsens. Think about some of the useful hints that can make it easier for the person with dementia to participate in as many activities as they can and help you get things done more efficiently.

Reduce frustrations

When actions that were formerly easy become challenging, a person who has dementia may experience increased agitation. To reduce the number of obstacles and the amount of frustration:

Wisely schedule in a day

Establish a routine that you follow every day. When a person is at their most awake and refreshed, certain activities, like taking a bath or going to the doctor, become much simpler. Give yourself some wiggle room in case unexpected things come up or the day is exceptionally challenging.

You may keep their caring for a loved one occupied and active throughout the day with activities such as the following:

  • Cooking and baking 
  • You may also choose any physical activity, like trying to walk, trying to stretch the body, and lightweight training 
  • Dance 
  • Listening to music 
  • Simple board game playing can also be an option
  • Completing errands around the house, such as folding laundry and gardening 
  • Going on a trip or to a favorite restaurant; museum or park 
  • Watching beautiful movie 
  • Spending time with friends and family

The establishment of a consistent daily pattern can assist in making a person feel more at ease. When you do this for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease, it can help that person maintain a sense of familiarity. It is sometimes necessary to make adjustments that cannot be avoided, such as transitioning to a new caretaker or a different environment for caregiving. Alzheimer’s patients typically require additional time to become accustomed to new environments and people; therefore, care-taker needs to integrate changes in a measured manner.

Take your time 

Plan for the possibility that certain activities will use more time than they have in the past and allot more time to complete them. It is important to schedule time for breaks when working.

Involvement of the persons

Give the person with Alzheimer’s as many opportunities as possible to take care of themselves with the minimum amount of assistance feasible. For instance, if you put out the person’s clothes in the order that they should be worn, he or she may be able to dress alone or set the table independently with the use of visual clues.

Alzheimer’s disease can have a severe negative impact on an individual’s capacity to interact with others. They may have trouble understanding some words or remembering certain phrases. They may also regularly find themselves stymied in the middle of a phrase due to a loss of their train of thought.

You can use these mentioned approaches to make interaction easier:

  1. Keep eye contact and a smile on your face. 
  2. Only one question should be asked at a time. 
  3. Make use of the other individual’s name. 
  4. Employ body language that is open and intense. 
  5. Talk in a low, soothing tone, but steer clear of talking down to people or oversimplifying things. 
  6. Make an effort to maintain your composure during fits of rage.

Provide choices

Every day, there should be some options available, but not an enormous number. For instance, you may offer them two different options for their attire, ask them whether they would like to have a warm or cold beverage or inquire as to whether they would rather go for a stroll or watch a movie.

Provide simple instructions

Communication that is simple and requires only one step is easiest for people with dementia to understand.

Limit napping

Avoid taking several naps or sleeps that are too long during the day. This can reduce the likelihood of getting the order of the days and nights mixed up.

Reduce distractions

To make it simpler for the person who has dementia to concentrate during meals and talks, turn off the television and reduce the number of other distractions as much as possible.

Be flexible

A dementia patient will gradually become increasingly dependent. Maintaining flexibility and adjusting both your routine and your expectations according to the situation might help reduce feelings of frustration. For instance, if she or he likes to wear a similar outfit daily, you might want to consider purchasing a couple of identical sets of clothing. If taking a bath is met with resistance, you might want to think about doing it less frequently.

Create a safe environment

It is more likely for a person with dementia to make poor decisions and struggle to find solutions to problems, which in turn raises their risk of getting hurt. To maximize protection:

Prevent falls

Avoid anything that could cause you to fall, like scatter rugs, extension cords, and clutter. Ramps or grab bars should be placed in particularly hazardous situations.

Use locks

Install locks on any cabinets that hold anything that could be considered hazardous, such as medicines, alcoholic beverages, firearms, toxic cleaning products, hazardous utensils, and equipment.

Check water temperature

To avoid getting burned, turn the thermostat down on the water heater.

Take fire safety precautions

Keep lighters and matches away from children. If the person who has dementia is a smoker, smoking should be constantly supervised. Make sure that there is easy access to a fire extinguisher, and check to see that the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors have just received new batteries.

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