Living with or taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia can be challenging for both the person with the disease and their loved ones. It is a cognitive disease that affects the brain’s functions such as thinking, behavioral and social skills, which affects a person’s ability to function independently. Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia can be mentally and emotionally taxing. A lot of changes happen to a person struggling with this disease but their quality of life shouldn’t have to lower--they deserve the best care with patience and compassion.
People struggling with Alzheimer’s or Dementia shouldn’t be left alone without supervision. They can start wandering, get confused, or end up lost; this can increase the risk of accidents and injuries.
For those suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s or Dementia, family members or caregivers can help them by making things easier and providing assistance in various ways such as:
Making Things Simple
When interacting with your loved ones with Alzheimer's or Dementia don’t overcomplicate things. When speaking, keep your questions or responses simple. If there’s a misunderstanding, repeat the question or statement in the same, calm manner. When asking questions, it’s better to ask one question at a time.
Creating a Positive Atmosphere
Approach them with positive body language and attitude. Create a positive atmosphere for interaction by speaking in a pleasant tone and a respectful manner.
Be Patient—They’re Trying Their Best
If your loved one is taking too long to answer, be patient. You can try to assist them by suggesting words when they’re struggling to respond. Closely observe their body language or nonverbal cues—it can tell you more than what they’re trying to say.
Reminisce About the Good Times
Short-term memory could be difficult for people with Alzheimer’s or Dementia but asking them about a memory that happened 40 years earlier will be easier for them to remember. Refrain from asking them questions such as the food that they had for lunch or something that happened within the day—these are questions that rely on short-term memory. Instead, ask them about a memory that happened in the distant past—these memories are more likely to be remembered.
Create a Distraction Whenever They’re Upset
If your loved one starts feeling upset or frantic, try to create a distraction such as changing the subject or the environment. Always remember to acknowledge and empathize with how they’re feeling. Try telling them that you understand why they’re upset or mad and then invite them to go for a walk or a little snack.
Keep a Daily Routine
People with Dementia, especially in the early stages, benefit a lot from doing daily routines. This creates familiarity and lessens stress. Routines are also stored in long-term memory and dementia often affects short-term memory first.
Create a Safe Space
Creating a safe space for a person with any form of dementia is important. They could wander around or outside the house and face the risk of accidents. You can create a safe space for them by removing objects that cause falls such as extension cords, scatter rugs, or clutter. Installing handrails can be useful, too. Taking other precautions such as locks on cabinets that may contain dangerous items such as medicine or cleaning products, lowering the thermostat on the water heater to avoid burns, and keeping fire hazards out of reach.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care
Do you know anyone with Alzheimer’s or another form of Dementia that can greatly benefit from a caregiver?
We have our caregivers take the essentiALZ certification training provided by the Azheimer’s Association to provide an added layer of training for interactions with our patient’s suffering from these conditions.
Unified Pledge Home Health provides a FREE consultation. Talk to us about your situation and explore your options!
Hiring professionals from Unified Pledge comes with the following advantages:
Level II FBI background checks of all staff
Driving history checks
Constant communication to patients, family, and care team
Registered Nurse supervision is ongoing with every care plan