Guide to Caregiving for Alzheimer’s Patients
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be a long and stressful journey. Only in the USA, there are over 16 million people providing care to someone with dementia.
Caregiving can be all-consuming. Because the cognitive and physical abilities of the person with Alzheimer’s disease diminish over a period of time, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and put you at risk of significant health problems. Many dementia caregivers suffer depression and high levels of stress, sadness, loneliness, and exhaustion. One should be ready to provide the proper care to a person with Alzheimer’s disease while still taking care of personal well-being.
- Communication is one of the major challenges to both the caregiver and the patient. When talking to a person with dementia, use simple words and short sentences. When you communicate, it’s also best to minimize noise and distractions. Turn off the radio or TV.
- Many patients with Alzheimer’s disease experience hallucinations. To reduce the episodes of the patient seemingly seeing or feeling something that’s not there, try to turn off the TV when there are violent episodes on the screen. Alternatively, you can distract the patient with a different topic or activity. You may change the location or leave outside for a walk.
- Taking care of patients with Alzheimer’s, you should know that some of them tend to wander far away from their homes. It’s important to limit this wandering and protect them from becoming lost.
- Even the most basic tasks like eating, dressing, and bathing can be a challenge for a person with Alzheimer’s. Establish a routine plan of assisting the patient during the course of the day, while still making him or her feel some sort of independence.
When taking care of a patient with Alzheimer’s try to keep calm and don’t speak to him as if he’s a child. Treat him with kindness and respect.