Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease is not easy. Even if you have a nurse or in-home caregiver helping you out a few days a week or a few hours a day, the time that you personally spend caring for your family member can be mentally and emotionally draining. But it does not have to be this way. There are ways to make the whole process easier on you as a caregiver.
Stick to a schedule
As much as possible, try to stick to the same schedule every day when caring for your loved one. Make them breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same times every day. Do things in the same order. For example, always bring them into the living room before you turn the TV on. Always have them swallow their vitamins before you brush their teeth. This will help them know what to expect so they do not become frustrated and confused as often, which will keep them in a better, more cooperative mood.
Involve them in decisions
Since Alzheimer's patients often struggle to make decisions, it is easy to end up excluding them and just making their decisions for them. But this can leave them feeling betrayed and like they've lost their autonomy. Try to include them in decisions whenever possible, even if it's just the decision of what color socks to wear that day. Sometimes if you involve them in these little decisions, then you'll be able to make the big decisions for them without them feeling so intruded upon.
Humor their stories and confusion
If your loved one thinks its 1970 and they're in college, just play along. If they think their current dog is the dog they had back in the 1990s, just go with it. Interrupting them and reminding them of the reality will just frustrate them; it won't jog their memory. Playing along will keep them calm and happy, which makes things easier for everyone.
Have helpers on-call
Is there a family member or friend who is willing to be on-call and help you when needed? Just knowing you have someone to call if you get stuck or frustrated can make caring for your loved one easier. And do call on this person from time to time if you feel like you just can't handle things at the moment. It's better to give yourself a break than to keep pushing and eventually develop burnout.
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's is not easy. Follow the tips above, and consider hiring Alzheimer's care from a nurse or in-home caregiver to give yourself a break.Share
15 September 2020
When my grandparents were both diagnosed with cancer due to radon in their home, I knew that we were going to be spending a lot of time helping them out. We started focusing on different ways to help them out, but it was really challenging to find the time to care for them. We realized that we needed help, so we started looking for home health care businesses who could come out to help. We found an excellent company who could help, and they were amazing to work with. They made our grandparents feel comfortable and happy each day, and it meant the world to us. Check out this blog for great information on home health care.