Caring for a Loved One With Alzheimer’s Disease
When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it can be quite heart breaking to cope with the news. Understanding the condition better and knowing what to do will help make life easier for you as a caregiver and for the patient as well.
Allowing people with Alzheimer’s to enjoy a certain quality of life and helping them do things they like is certainly challenging but not impossible. As your loved one's Alzheimer's progresses, you'll need to keep the following points in mind:
You'll need to make sure your loved one keeps up with hygiene habits. Ensuring they bathe, brush their teeth and clean up after meals is important. While helping them achieve these goals, it’s important to take care that they do most of it on their own with just a gentle reminder or push from you to help.
Eating well and proper diet are essential in any situation. Particularly with someone who has Alzheimer’s disease and lives alone, consider stocking up easy to prepare or heat-and-eat meals for a week. This ensures that they maintain a level of independence but do not have to go through a long process during meal times. Calling to check if they have eaten and what they ate can also help.
An important part of caring for someone with Alzheimer is making sure they get ample physical exercise. Keeping their body fit helps to also engage their mind and keep it active, and a healthy weight allows for easier care. A walk together is a good way to get started with this goal.
Ensure your loved one has a form of identification and contact details on their person at all times, for example an engraved bracelet with their name and contact details. This will allow them to return home safely if they happen to wander off when their mind is in a haze.
It is important to ensure that your loved one is not isolated or withdrawn from social company and activities. Take them out to activities they enjoy, like dancing for example. Group activities and therapy will also help them to stay happy and engaged.
However, if going to these activities makes them feel inept and upset at being unable to participate, consider changing to something simpler, or something they can simply watch and enjoy.