3 Ways To Improve The Daily Caregiving Of Alzheimer’s Patients

2013-11-06 Wellescent |

Caring for any elderly person in poor health is a challenge. But, Alzheimer’s disease makes the challenges of caregiving far greater. Caring for a loved one means not just coping with their physical problems and decreased independence; but also contending with a condition that systematically robs the person of her memories, personality, sense of self and ability to do even the simplest tasks. The extensive damage to the brain that occurs over the course of the disease creates a caregiving situation that can feel overwhelming at times. But, with some solid strategies in place, those caring for Alzheimer’s patients can make this journey less taxing on the caregiver and the loved one. Here are some ways to manage the more common issues that a caregiver will encounter.

Frustrations Exist Both For The Caregiver And The Patient

Dealing with an Alzheimer’s patient can be frustrating beyond belief. But, it is important for caregivers to remember that they are not the only one feeling that way. People with this disease can easily get frustrated as even the simplest tasks are now a huge challenge for them. Learning approaches that will reduce frustrations for both people is well worth the effort.

One of the best ways to limit frustrations, and keep the waters as calm as possible, is devising some sort of daily routine for a loved one to follow. Alzheimer’s patients respond very well to routine—predictability because it cuts down on confusion. To minimize conflicts, it is best to schedule the more challenging tasks at a time of day when the patient is most agreeable and calm. Some examples of tasks to be schedules at this time include bathing and doctor’s appointments. In these situations, caregivers should allocate a lot of time to complete the tasks to avoid rushing the loved one and becoming stressed. The stress is good for neither person.

Whenever there is a situation for which a loved one must choose from different options, such as what to wear for the day or what to eat for lunch, caregivers should try to provide as few options as possible. When it comes to getting dressed, for example, the caregiver should lay out a couple of outfits on the bed rather than sticking them in front of an open closet packed with clothing. Limiting distractions allows a loved one to better concentrate on the task at hand, whether it is having a conversation or eating a meal.

Learning to be flexible will also serve caregivers very well in this role because an Alzheimer’s patients’s abilities, preferences, behaviors and the like will be constantly changing. For example, if the loved one begins to get extremely agitated during their daily bathing, it may be important to let go of the idea that the person must shower every single day.

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Category: General Health

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