It can be gratifying and difficult to care for someone who has Alzheimer’s. Learning more about the condition can be beneficial whether you’re a new or experienced caregiver:
- Consult a physician. Keep track of any changes in your loved one’s behavior, mood, or memory.
- Go to classes. Workshops and programs for Caregivers are offered by charities and other organizations.
- Study recent findings. Insight can be gained from recent advances in memory, medicine, and self-care.
Prepare for medical visits
You’ll be a key participant in doctor visits as a caregiver. To maximize your time, establish a plan in advance:
- Organize your papers. Provide copies of any paperwork that enables you to make medical decisions to the personnel.
- Try to relax. Visit when they are awake. Bring a game or activity for the lobby.
- Prepare questions and responses in advance. Prior to the event, note any questions, symptoms, or behavioral observations. Make notes and discuss potential future care.
Independent living is still possible for those with early and middle-stage dementia. Focus on their areas of strength and give them as much freedom as you can to do things like:
- Putting on clothes. By arranging their clothing in the proper order, you can assist.
- Activities or pastimes. Keep doing the activities they’ve previously appreciated. Make adjustments to accommodate their existing capabilities.
- Deciding what to eat. They are free to prepare the table, decide what to eat, and select a seat.
Plan your activities
Alzheimer’s patients could stop doing things they once loved. Help from caregivers can keep kids interested. Keep in mind:
- Mood swings. What activities cause people to feel content, worried, or grumpy?
- Physical issues. Do they get tired easily? Do they have vision or hearing issues?
- Date and Time. Schedule specific activities for the morning when you both are rested.
- Illness stage. Try tasks that the patient can repeat repeatedly in the later stages of the illness.
Control eating difficulties
Eating and drinking might be challenging for those who have Alzheimer’s. Dehydration and weight fluctuations may result from this. Try the following advice:
- Be tolerant. Your loved one can become irritated and stop eating. When they’re calm, provide food.
- Use a meal delivery service. For people with dementia, several delivery services are free or inexpensive.
- Reduce noise. To concentrate on eating, turn off the TV and other sources of distraction.
- Dining together At meals, enjoy each other’s company.
During the coronavirus pandemic, caregivers should adopt additional safety precautions:
- So that you can visit the pharmacy less frequently, ask your doctor to fill prescriptions for longer periods of time.
- If you become ill or your adult day care facility closes due to COVID-19, you should have a backup caregiver.
- Inform hospital professionals of the condition of the person you are caring for if they must travel to the hospital for COVID-19 so that you may provide support and provide medical information.
Dementia and COVID-19 infection are more likely to affect older persons. Add virus prevention to your everyday routine (face masks, hand cleaning, no touching of the face). Reminders about proper hygiene may also be required for those with Alzheimer’s:
- As a reminder to properly wash your hands, place signage in your home’s bathroom and other common places.
- Show them the proper hand-washing technique.
- If there isn’t soap and water, offer alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Ensure your own wellbeing.
Compared to other carers, those who care for dementia patients have higher levels of worry and sadness. Here are some guidelines for self-care:
- Request assistance. Speak with your loved ones, close friends, or an adult daycare. Your stress can be reduced with just a few hours of therapy each week.
- Sign up for a support group. You may exchange experiences and locate resources whether you’re in person or online.
- Speak with a therapist. They can assist you in Stress management and understanding your emotions.
Make a plan for daily care.
You and the person you are caring for can organize your day using a routine. Consider these:
- Strengths, preferences, interests, and likes
- how they set up their day
- both at night and in the morning
- prime period for activities
- Make sure you allot enough of time for breaks and activities. Be prepared to adjust if necessary, such as when the loved one is fatigued, and use your timetable as a guide.
Building a Safe Environment
Injury risk increases with Alzheimer’s. Examine every inch of your home, paying careful attention to any areas that contain harmful objects. To be secure:
- Prevent falls. Clear the clutter. Install grab bars or railings in places where your loved one could trip and fall.
- Lock up any cupboards that contain sharp objects, alcohol, firearms, cleaning supplies, or medications.
- Protect against fires. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and put matches and lighters away.