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Tips for Caregivers: Providing Quality Care for Alzheimer’s Patients

by Shannon, November 25, 2019

Caring for an individual suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease takes great patience, care and love. As your loved one – or patient – navigates this disease, you can provide high-quality care and enhance your skills as a caregiver by learning more about how this debilitating disease can progress.

 

Since November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, as well as National Family Caregivers Month, now is the time to understand more clearly how to navigate this disease with a loved one – or patient – by adding to your knowledge of how the disease affects individuals daily.

 

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

 

Alzheimer’s Disease affects memory, communication and mental abilities as changes occur in the brain. Ultimately, as the disease progresses, individuals with Alzheimer’s may also experience difficulty with physical challenges, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

 

Some of the most common symptoms, according to the National Institute on Aging, include:

  • Memory loss
  • Poor judgment leading to bad decisions
  • Loss of spontaneity and sense of initiative
  • Taking longer to complete normal daily tasks
  • Repeating questions
  • Trouble handling money and paying bills
  • Wandering and getting lost
  • Losing things or misplacing them in odd places
  • Mood and personality changes
  • Increased anxiety and/or aggression

 

While it’s not possible to predict the severity or even existence of these symptoms, as a caregiver, there are some actions you can take to ease pain, confusion and frustration for those with Alzheimer’s Disease.

 

Navigating Day to Day With Alzheimer’s Disease

 

Routine, everyday tasks may become quite difficult for individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease. To enhance quality of life for your patient or loved one, make accommodations and changes to daily activities. For example, while the act of grooming or bathing may seem simple enough, you will need to invest in a hand-held showerhead, rubber mat and even safety bars in bathtubs and showers. It may also help to buy a shower chair. Always check the bath temperature and never leave someone with Alzheimer’s Disease alone in the bathtub or shower, recommends the National Institute on Aging.

 

Dressing can be a confusing time of the day for a person with Alzheimer’s Disease. Planning ahead can ease confusion and frustration. Lay out all clothes and assist with dressing by handing your patient or loved one a single item at a time while dressing. Offer step-by-step instructions and embrace patience as he or she re-learns how to dress.

 

It’s also necessary to adapt activities for individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease. For instance, plan activities that lead to the least amount of frustration. Take walks together to get some fresh air, work together as a team to complete household chores, offering step-by-step instructions, and incorporate music or dance into the daily routine. Investigate the type of activities your patient used to enjoy and introduce these to him or her again. If you notice that your loved one or patient is frustrated by the activity, change course and introduce something else.

 

Communication methods may also need to vary when serving as a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease. According to the National Council for Aging Care, it’s best to use a gentle voice and simple, short sentences when communicating or offering instructions. Avoid talking down to your patient or communicating with him or her as you would with a younger child. In addition, eliminating loud noises or distractions during communication may help with your patient’s thought process.

 

Finding the Support and Care You Need

 

A physical illness or disease can affect individuals at any stage of life and age. In some cases, the symptoms may be mild, but many disorders, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, can also be life threatening. As a caregiver, you can provide the love and care this individual needs.

 

Support and care is essential at the onset of any type of discomfort for your aging patient or loved one. And, a team effort ensures that you – or a loved one – will navigate chronic conditions in comfort.

 

It’s important to learn as much about the symptoms and care needed to help support your loved ones. Tap into resources from local and national organizations to boost your knowledge of how the disorder affects everyone involved and to also identify coping skills. In addition, lean on caregivers, such as the qualified staff from Care Indeed, to help with daily living, while coordinating palliative care.

 

Life with any type of illness is challenging and learning how to accept the challenge is the first step in living life. While you may struggle with grief and loss when coping with the symptoms as a patient, caregiver or family member, the support you need is only a click away.

 

Care Indeed is committed to providing you the support and in-home caregivers who understand your challenges and daily struggles at work and home. Learn more about how to get the support you need today