As the Alzheimer’s disease progresses, so will the elder’s inability to care for themselves. This is where caregivers come in. These helpful family members or professional home care providers will be needed to assist the senior with everyday tasks, such as bathing, reminding them to take their medications, and driving them to and from appointments.
If you have decided to be the primary caregiver of your loved one, there are some things you need to know that will make your role much less stressful. Not only should you research Alzheimer’s disease to find out what to expect in the various stages of this condition, but these tips will also help you provide the care your elderly parent needs.
Do not ignore the symptoms. Some people prefer to ignore the declining cognitive health of their loved one, choosing to think of the symptoms as a part of aging. But if you think something is wrong, do not ignore it. Bring the senior to the doctor as soon as possible in order to get a proper diagnoses and treatment.
Avoid frustrating questions. A simple question like, “Can you remember…” can cause feelings of irritation and frustration. The elder most likely will not be able to remember the memory you are reminding them of and will only become agitated when asked if they can remember certain events. If you want to talk about a memory, talk about it without asking if they can remember.
Change your way of communicating. Seniors with Alzheimer’s are not able to communicate the way they did in their younger days. Learn to alter how you talk to your loved one in order to make it easier for them to understand what you are saying. Ask their doctor for ideas on how to communicate with them.
Give them a valuable object. No, this does not mean gold or diamonds, but something that is valuable to them. It could be a certain book, picture, or other item that could bring back some memories for them.
Pick your battles. Someone with Alzheimer’s often can’t be persuaded when in a disagreement. Instead of fighting them, just let it go unless it could be dangerous for their health. Also, do not correct them because this will cause them to become even more upset.
Know when to change the subject. If your loved one does become upset, talk about something else. The best thing you can do during this situation is get them to focus on a topic that won’t upset them.
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s takes a great deal of patience, compassion, and trial and error to learn what things will work and what won’t. Talk to the elder’s doctor about other ways you can provide the care they need.