4 Tips for Caring for Someone with Alzheimer's Disease
If you’re caring for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease, you know how challenging and delicate this stage of life can be. Although every person with Alzheimer’s has different needs, there are some steps you can take to make caring for them easier, from providing structure in their lives to changing your communication styles.
Find out four tips that you can apply to your care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease. These tips can help you make sure that your loved one is comfortable, safe, and happy.
1. Establish a Routine
For many individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease, it can be frustrating when tasks that used to be part of their everyday life, like going to the store or taking care of things around the house, become difficult. One way to help him or her feel like they’re maintaining control over these aspects of their lives is by establishing a routine.
The structure of a routine can help them feel secure and comfortable. Set a routine where your loved one gets up at a certain time every day, has small tasks around the house, days when they are taken to the grocery store are specified, and they have a fixed bed time.
Also, schedule important appointments or bathing times at point in the day where the person with Alzheimer’s Disease is most alert and not too tired or strained. This allows for them to be engaged in the task. As you’re helping your loved one with their schedule, remember not to rush things. Now, tasks might take a little longer than they used to, so plan for breaks or time to rest.
If you’re looking for a way to provide structure, you could consider a senior living community focused on Alzheimer's care in Connecticut. These communities offer established routines, which help those dealing with Alzheimer’s adjust to everyday life.
2. Communicate Carefully
When you have a loved one with Alzheimer's Disease, communication can be challenging and frustrating at times – for both them and you! So, it’s important that you communicate with sensitivity and clarity.
Big changes in life come with Alzheimer's Disease like loss of independence, which makes it hard to communicate about these changes. Talking about decisions like no longer driving or moving into a senior community that offers Alzheimer's care in the CT area, might be hard for your loved one to hear. Before you approach these topics, think carefully about your communication strategy.
Speak slowly and be willing to repeat or explain some points. Remember that while your loved one might be having a rough few hours while you’re communicating with them, they may have greater clarity later. So, make sure to reiterate main points of important conversations again.
3. Don’t Forget About Nutrition
Maintaining a healthy diet can be difficult for your loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease, but it’s a really important part of their care process. Pay attention to their diets, as they may forget to eat or they could be taking medication that suppresses their appetite. Getting an adequate caloric intake ensures you’re healthy in both mind and body.
There are a few ways you can help your loved one maintain a healthy diet. First, while it might be a challenge to your own schedule, try to eat as many meals with them as possible. Social eating with friends or family ensures someone is watching to make sure your loved one is getting a full meal. If they live in a community for Alzheimer’s care in CT, they’ll likely have friends and caretakers to eat with each day.
One of the greatest benefits of trusting your loved one to a community that offers Alzheimer’s care in CT is that their meals are prepared each day and monitored to make sure patients get enough calories. Staff members keep a close eye on residents to ensure they’re healthy.
Also, make sure your family and those that surround your loved one are patient with their eating habits. It can be a challenge for Alzheimer’s patients to stay neat and tidy when they eat, so keep your kitchen stocked with plenty of napkins, cups with lids, and non-messy foods that are easy to eat. This helps your loved one maintain their dignity, and enjoy a meal without the anxiety of making a mess.
4. Remain Understanding
Ultimately, you just want your loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease to know that they’re cared for and valued. So, remember to be patient and understand of their needs. As time goes on, they will become more and more dependent on you to care for them or on professionals that offer Alzheimer’s care in CT.
For caretakers, it can be a struggle to maintain balance between the care you provide your loved one and your own life and responsibilities. Do your best to stay flexible, keeping time available for last-minute doctor’s appointments or stopping by their place to help with a few daily tasks.
Have patience with your loved one’s lifestyle and choices as their Alzheimer’s Disease progresses. This may mean they start becoming picky about what they eat and what they wear. Maybe they want to tell you the same story they told you yesterday. Or, if they only want to wear a certain pair of shoes every day, then buy a few pairs to make life a little easier for them. Adapt your expectations to better suit their needs and keep in mind that there are still precious times to be had with your loved one.
You may feel that caring for your loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease is an uphill battle – and on some days, you might be right. But, it’s important to keep these tips in mind to ensure they’re comfortable, healthy, and safe.
Also, consider finding a senior community that offers Alzheimer’s care in CT, if you don’t have one already. These communities are designed specifically to help with memory care and to provide seniors who suffer from Alzheimer’s a comfortable place to live.
Discover the benefits that a memory care community could offer your loved one. Download this free guide, The Next Generation of Memory Care at Lifestyle Transitions, to learn more.
About Chelsea Sayegh
I started working as a Marketing Coordinator for United Methodist Homes in October of 2016. I work on public relations, website management and community planning for their award winning independent and assisted living communities. As a graduate of Ursinus College with a degree in Media and Communications and a passion for serving nonprofits, United Methodist Homes has become my home away from home. I spend my days working in a community filled with smiling faces, helpful hands and wonderful residents. I have a passion for assisting seniors and take great pride in being able to promote a company with such a positive mission and values. As an individual committed to learning and growing, I have jumped right into this exciting career!
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