Today, we will be discussing the many aspects of how to take care of someone with Alzheimer’s disease. A lot of people don’t know someone who has been affected by Alzheimer’s in some form. It’s not easy when a loved one has been put directly under your care. You can become flustered and potentially scared, but with a little bit of knowledge and preparedness, everything will be okay.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s is a disease of progressive brain deterioration, which generally happens in middle and old age. It’s usually known as a common form of dementia and has a substantial impact on a person’s ability to carry out daily activities.
If you have been around someone with Alzheimer’s, then you have noticed that Alzheimer’s begins slowly, and it starts with areas of control, thought, memory, and language. People who suffer from this disease start to forget things that have recently happened and who some people are. At some point, this may progress to forgetting family members and normal functions such as brushing their hair. They could even wander away because they can’t remember where they live or what is happening at the moment.
All of these factors can be a lot for a person to take in, and the person you love can become a shell of themselves. The impact of Alzheimer’s can affect their loved ones as caregivers and put them in tough situations. Recent studies have shown that Alzheimer’s shows up in 10% of people over the age of 65. Furthermore, 47% of people who are over the age of 85 have Alzheimer’s.
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can result in higher levels of stress. On average, caregivers must give 70 hours a week to care for their loved ones. The potential burden can lead to strains on family relationships and change the caregiver’s lifestyle. However, there is hope. With that said, there are some things a caregiver must know when taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s.
What Caregivers Must Know
Enhance Communication – As people with Alzheimer’s gradually lose their ability to express their thoughts and engage in a conversation, it’s essential to communicate properly. When talking with someone with Alzheimer’s, you should practice the following:
- Utilize careful word choice
- Always identify yourself
- Approach the person from the front
- Give them a chance to speak
- Call them by their name
- Speak respectfully
Plan Activities that Provide Meaning
When taking care of a loved one, you must use visual cues. Labels on the fridge will become less significant over time as Alzheimer’s progresses. Therefore, structure and routine will become more important, and keeping things in a positive loop can offer stability and may help your loved one be able to function better.
The goal for someone with Alzheimer’s is to not depend on you indefinitely but to help them with daily activities such as shower, eat, and help them establish a routine and be more independent.
Use Additional Resources to Help with your Stress
Caregiver stress is typically overlooked, but it’s crucial you take a break now and then from the caregiving tasks. With that said, in-home caregiving services can be accessed through a lot of government services, and there is assistance to make this time easier on the caregiver and your loved one.
Professional Tips and Tricks
Be Prepared – Numerous things can happen during your time as a caregiver. However, being prepared for whatever may arise is essential.
Plan Ahead – It’s essential to plan for Alzheimer’s payments and trying to keep everything together. Therefore, look at insurance, accounts, and programs available to make your life easier.
Get Support – Don’t be afraid to pay attention to your feelings and get support. Caregivers can suffer from an increase incidence of depression. Since it’s very common for people to grieve the loss of a loved one while still alive, you must focus your mind on the positive aspects of the relationship with your loved one. If you still have feelings that affect your physical and mental well-being, make sure that you talk to a doctor.
Alzheimer’s can be a very complicated disease to cope with. However, with the proper preparation and careful weighing of your options, you will be able to help your loved one and make the best out of a bad situation. For more information on Alzheimer’s care in Port Charlotte, contact Granny Nannies of Port Charlotte today.