Advice on caring for someone suffering from Alzheimer's disease
Caring for someone who has Alzheimer's disease can be a very tough and time consuming task. It is easy to become frustrated with your loved one and lose patience with them. While in the early stages of the disease, they may be able to still function and live independently, but as time goes on and the disease worsens, the person will not be able to handle a lot of simple and daily tasks.
Therefore, you should try to ensure that your loved one still has a sense of dignity and independence at the same time as providing them with increased care and support. Here is some advice that will help you with this process.
Decrease frustration levels
It can be an agitating process for both the carer and the person suffering from Alzheimer's disease when previously simple tasks become tricky or even impossible. This frustration needs to be controlled as best as possible.
You should always have a solid routine in place in order to make each day less confusing and more predictable. It is advisable that you schedule the more difficult tasks such as bathing and medical appointments for the times of day that your loved one is the most agreeable and calm.
Keeping options to a minimum is a great way to reduce anxiety and frustration, as it is easier to decide.
It is a good idea to keep track of any recent changes in your loved one's behaviour, as this could be important information to bring to the attention of their medical professional during their next appointment. It also helps to prepare other people who will be caring for the patient for any developments since they last visited.
While a routine is important to have, you should not stick to it rigidly. If something is clearly not working or your loved one is experiencing great anxiety or lack of enjoyment from a certain activity, don't be afraid to drop it. They may no longer like the same things as they did in the past, so don't solely base the activities on past hobbies and interests. Trial and error is the best way to find activities and interests that will be enjoyable for your loved one.
As the disease progresses, your loved one will lose their ability to properly function and cope. Even from day to day they might vary, having some good days and some bad days. Always be flexible and ready to adjust to the circumstances depending on how they are feeling on a particular day.
For more information and ideas, you may want to consider working with an in-home care program.