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Blog Feature

By: Elizabeth Bemis on September 21st, 2012

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Tips for Caring for Someone with Alzheimer's

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caring for someone with alzheimers

Caring for Someone with Alzheimer's

Caring for a loved one with a progressive neurodegenerative condition such as Alzheimer's Disease can take its toll emotionally, physically, and spiritually. As the world slowly becomes smaller for the person with Alzhemier's, so does the world of that person's caregiver.

The most important thing for caregivers is to remember to take care of themselves, yet many people find this the most difficult part of caregiving. Just as maintaining a sense of emotional balance is of immense value to the person with Alzheimer's, staying grounded psychologically is essential for the caregiver. Developing the skills needed to take care of a loved one and yourself takes time, but it is essential for the caregiver to remain whole during the caregiving journey.

Whether the person with Alzheimer's lives with you or in an assisted living community, these tips can help with your day-to-day interactions.

Tips for Managing the Day

Stay Consistent

One of the most important, yet most challenging, elements of caring for an Alzheimer's patient is maintaining a consistent daily routine. While this is often tedious for the caregiver, it provides the patient with a sense of security and predictability when their internal life might seem to be in chaos. The caregiver also needs to keep in mind that as the disease progresses, changes in the daily routine may become necessary.

Alzheimer and dementia

Stay Busy

Daily activities need to center around the interests of the person with Alzheimer's because keeping the person occupied can decrease the likelihood he or she will become agitated. When planning activities and tasks for the day, try to keep them simple and break them down into steps the patient can easily achieve. When the person completes a step, offer him or her an ample amount of praise. This will decrease the frequency of angry outbursts due to frustration.

Communicate

Communicating with an Alzheimer's patient is often a challenge. When talking to the patient, using a soft, calm voice tone can help keep the person from becoming agitated. Using simple words and short phrases helps the person to track the conversation. Additionally, call the person by name and make sure you have his or her attention before you start speaking.

Make Time for You

Make time for yourself during the day by recruiting a neighbor or friend to supply some respite. This will keep the caregiver from feeling as if their world is getting smaller. Additionally, it will help the person stay grounded. Contact local senior living facilities for more tips on caring for someone with Alzheimer's

Key Takeaways: 

  • Provide your loved one with consistent, daily activities to stay occupied.
  • Communicate calmly and with patience.
  • Take time for yourself once in a while.

Need Help?

If you're interested in learning more about assisted or independent living communities, contact us today.

Alzheimer and dementia

About Elizabeth Bemis

In 1998, I drove past an assisted living community construction site, learned that it was part of United Methodist Homes and realized the next stop on my professional journey was to work for a mission driven organization. Soon after, I joined the team as Executive Director of our Middlewoods of Farmington community and later served as Regional Manager for the Middlewoods properties before accepting my current role as Vice President of Marketing, Promotions, and Assisted Living Operations. I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, reading, walking, and love working alongside our staff, residents, and families to build strong communities that reflect the mission, vision, and values of United Methodist Homes.

Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.