10 ways you can help your loved one with Alzheimer’s
Being a caregiver for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s is difficult and stressful. It requires extreme patience, a lot of work and knowledge about the disease. Here are some ways that you can help your loved one. It also may be a good idea to let other visitors know about these 10 important tips.
- Never stop visiting your love one. At some point they may not know who you are but even though they don’t recognize you doesn’t warrant leaving them lonely. Alzheimer’s patients like having visitors even if they don’t know quite who they are.
- Try hard not to ask the patient if they remember something. They likely do not due to their diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Asking them to remember things they don’t will leave them upset and frustrated.
- You should never argue, disagree or correct a person that has dementia. You should also try not to contradict anything that they are saying. Their brain does not work like yours and they may be very strong and what they think they believe. This will also lead to a frustrating experience.
- When you visit don’t bring up subject matters that will or could possibly upset then. Whether it’s a wayward family member or the political climate don’t start a conversation if you know it is a hot button topic for them.
- One of the hardest parts of dealing with Alzheimer’s is admitting it. Do not deny this problem. Denial that will prevent the person from getting the assistance that they need and delay planning for the future.
- Try to give your loved one a meaningful object to hold. Try old pictures, a handmade blanket, a special hat or toy. You may have to try different items to see which had the most positive effect.
- Alzheimer’s patients can present at a variety of age levels. Try to determine what age they are acting and make connections on that level. If they are coloring and like games then be sure to focus your visit on doing those things.
- For a late later stage Alzheimer’s patient it is important to introduce them to art, music pets and especially children. Even in the late stages of dementia these four things can be meaningful.
- If you see your loved one getting upset be ready to quickly change the subject. Alzheimer’s is a very frustrating disease and patients can upset easily. It’s best to redirect them to a more pleasant topic.
- Don’t forget about you. Being a caregiver for an Alzheimer’s patient is hard work and mentally challenging. Take some time for yourself so that you can continue to be a compassionate and effective caregiver.
Caring for a loved one that has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is stressful, emotional and frustrating at times. Keep in mind these tips and be sure to take care of yourself so that you can be continue to be a loyal caregiver. St. Mark Village pledges and walks for a cure each year in October. View more information regarding memory care on our sister site, smvbilirakis.org
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