The Basics Of Alzheimer's Care

Having a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease can be an intimidating and overwhelming revelation. This diagnosis means that there will be a lot of changes ahead. Whether you're planning on hiring an independent caregiver or you're planning to be the primary caregiver yourself, there are some things that you need to understand about caring for someone with Alzheimer's. Here are a couple of things you should keep in mind as your loved one's disease progresses.

Routines Are Important

For those with Alzheimer's, routines are important. They help to preserve consistency for daily activities, and that predictability can help your loved one to feel less confused and uncertain throughout the day.

Take time to establish a solid routine for your loved one, including times for medications, meals, personal care, and other tasks. Make sure that the schedule is posted somewhere highly visible and is crafted clearly so that your loved one can read it, and that your loved one has a system to set alarms or clearly tell the time.

Have Patience

One of the hardest things for many caregivers of those with Alzheimer's disease is the constant repetition of information. You may find yourself getting frustrated when you have to repeat things many times because your loved one can't remember.

Have patience with him or her when it comes to this repetition. Remember that it isn't your loved one's fault that they can't remember things. This is a disease that directly affects memory and the ability to retain information, so repeat things as often as necessary to reassure him or her.

Encourage Independence

While you're there to provide support, you need to encourage your loved one's independence as much as possible. Make sure that you allow him or her to complete the tasks that they are able to, including dressing, cooking, and housework. Remember that their abilities will vary from day to day based on their condition, so even if they couldn't do it yesterday, they may be able to do it today. Give them the opportunity to try, and only offer help if they express the need for it.

Alzheimer's disease is an unforgiving and progressive condition that can be challenging both physically and emotionally. Consider these points and reach out to a local Alzheimer's caregiver for more help. Having a treatment specialist provide some in-home care can let you have the respite that you need to preserve your own well-being while still being able to provide the care you can to your loved one.