Caring For Someone with Alzheimer’s at Home
Published April 14, 2011 by Jody Guerrieri, RN. in Alzheimer's /Dementia, Senior Health & Wellness
It can be a difficult road when deciding to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s at home. The behavior and mood changes are very unpredictable, and even the easiest of day-to-day things such as eating, sleeping, dressing, and just getting around can be very problematic for the person suffering from Alzheimer’s. Here are some excellent tips to make senior care easier as a caregiver at home.
Usually, unless the patient has moments of lucidity, they will often not be interested in doing much of anything. Try to get them to do the things that they like to do as much as possible. Do not get frustrated with them when they do not want to do a certain task. Do not expect too much from them. If simple tasks are performed well, they should be encouraged and praised. If the simple tasks become difficult, help them each step of the way, with praise for each completed step.
If the person in your care gets frustrated or agitated, be sure to give them extra help or stop and rest until they are calmed down. Make sure to use simple, short sentences and a gentle tone of voice when talking to them. Also, always try to address them by their proper name, and give them as much time as needed to reply. There is no need to hurry. If there is something that they are really good at, be sure to try to include this activity every day, at the same time if at all possible.
When it comes to food, try to give them small portions of healthy finger food throughout the day, rather than three large meals. The fewest amount of different foods can help them to not get confused. Finger foods are also good because utensils can be confusing. Lidded cups with straws are best to avoid spills.
Sleep is particularly difficult for those with Alzheimer’s. They tend to get restless or agitated at night; this is called “sun-downing syndrome.” To avoid this, try to get them to bed early and make sure they sleep through the night.
Another important thing to remember is to make the house safe for the person with Alzheimer’s; think of it as child-proofing. Make sure cabinets are secured and China cabinets are locked.
Alzheimer’s care can be frustrating. Preferred Care at Home counts with many years of experience in the care of clients with Alzheimer’s. Find a home care location in your area today.
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