Caring for Your Loved One with Alzheimer’s
When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, caring for them takes patience. The disease affects people’s ability to handle daily tasks, but luckily there are ways to help them maintain their dignity and sense of independence by using practical solutions. The three things to remember when planning out the care of your loved one affected by Alzheimer’s is to be proactive to reduce frustrations, be flexible and create a safe environment.
Being Proactive to Reduce Frustration
People with Alzheimer’s may become frustrated with daily tasks that are seemingly simple. It may also become frustrating for you. The important thing is to maintain patience, be flexible and ensure you’re being proactive.
One of the best ways to alleviate aggravation for everyone involved is to establish a routine. Those suffering from Alzheimer’s can still follow and learn routines. However, also allow some flexibility for spontaneous activities. It’s always best to schedule routines when your loved one is most alert. These routines should include eating, bathing and taking their medicine.
Take Your Time and Provide Simple Instructions
Having things take longer than usual is to be expected with someone that is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Whether it’s explaining something or planning an outing, be patient and give yourself more time as to not rush them. It’s also best to have clear one-step communication and give them time to process.
Involvement and Choices
While allowing your loved one with Alzheimer’s to do as much as possible with the least amount of assistance is important (like setting the table, or choosing their outfit), also providing them guidance is helpful. For an example, giving them two outfits, or choice of activities. Listen to their wants and needs and adjust accordingly. In the end you want them to feel like they still have control over their life and decisions.
Create a Safe Environment
Since Alzheimer’s impairs judgement, as well as problem-solving skills, keeping their living area safe prevents avoidable injuries.
When it comes to their household and décor, avoid area rugs that could be tripping hazards. Other things to look for are cords and shoes. Ensure that their home is always clean and free of debris on the ground. Install handrails or grab bars in high traffic areas for additional support
Cabinets and drawers that house potential hazardous items like medicine, alcohol, fire arms, knives, tools and toxic chemicals.
Check Water Temperature
If you have the ability to lower the thermostat on hot water heaters, you may want to do so to prevent burns.
Fire Safety Precautions
Make sure all smoke detectors are up to date and working properly. Hide lighters and matches. If your loved one smokes, ensure they only do so under supervision.
Focus on At Home Senior Care
Even though we always want to be there for a loved one that is suffering from Alzheimer’s, it may not always be a practical solution. By hiring an at-home care service, it allows them to maintain their sense of independence while alleviating some of the guilt and stress you may be feeling. The caregiver can be there as little or as much as your loved one requires; helping ensure they are happy, safe and healthy.
If you have any concerns or would like some help living more comfortably at home or booking an in home visit, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-866-982-2737 and speak with some about setting up an at home care assessment today.