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Tips for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

By Mary-Frances Walsh, 7:21 pm on

Alzheimer’s is a disease that causes the slow loss of memory and mental function, and can also lead to an array of physical problems including trouble walking, speaking and swallowing. If you have become a caregiver for an aging parent or loved one with Alzheimer’s, you know that caregiving is a demanding job both physically and emotionally. While some days will inevitably be better than others, Home Care Assistance Sonoma County offers a few Alzheimer’s care tips that can help make caregiving a little easier.

  1. Stick with the routine. Alzheimer’s patients benefit from a stable and consistent routine. Make sure that activities like getting dressed, eating, going to the doctor and getting ready for bed take place around the same time each day. This helps the senior better understand what is going to happen and can help reduce feelings of anxiety or stress. If you have an outside caregiver providing assistance, do your best to ensure it is the same caregiver each time so your loved one can build a trusting relationship with them. Keeping everything as stable as possible will help to decrease your loved one’s stress and leads to more cooperation with the care.
  1. Keep conversation simple. Caregivers should aim to keep the conversation simple and to avoid long, complicated sentences that your loved one may not be able to understand. Short but gentle redirects such as “stand tall”, or “step up”, will make it easier for your loved one to follow and can make daily activities like transfers and toileting safer and hassle-free. It is also important to respond compassionately when something appears to be wrong. This can help to pinpoint needs such as hunger, which can in turn prevent behavioral problems.
  1. Be flexible and adjust. No matter what stage of Alzheimer’s your loved one is in, there will be times when they are lucid and able to remember things, and other times when they seem to have forgotten nearly everything. Take advantage of the times when they are lucid and don’t worry about straying from your schedule. Share memories of the past and spend quality time with your loved one. Any communication they are capable of helps to strengthen and maintain your connection for as long as possible.
  2. Get the support you need. As the disease advances, your loved one will likely require 24-hour monitoring and around the clock care to ensure safety. Before the stress of caregiving sets in, make sure you have the proper support services in place. Support can come from relatives, friends, members of your church, or professional caregivers who can assist you in making sure your loved one is safe, happy and comfortable, and that you get the rest and time off that you need. Learn more about Sonoma County live-in care and see which services would be the best fit for you and your loved one.

Keeping some of the above tips in mind can make day-to-day care easier and more enjoyable for you and your loved one. For more information about specialized in-home Alzheimer’s care in Sonoma County, contact a Care Manager at 707-843-4368. At Home Care Assistance, we offer complimentary consultations and never require any obligations or upfront fees and offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee with all of our services. Reach out to us today and take the first step toward peace of mind.