Taking Care of Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s

If you are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia, it can be difficult to manage daily tasks. Consider following these practical tips to keep your loved one engaged with their day and reduce frustration.

Keep a flexible schedule
Keeping a consistent schedule for mealtimes, waking up, going to sleep, getting dressed etc., is important for providing a sense of comfort and familiarity for your loved one. However, as they become more dependent, they may be resistant to certain routines; this is why it is important to adjust and adapt to their expectations as needed.

Create a safe environment
Alzheimer’s and other related dementias impair judgment and decision-making skills, so it is important to promote safety by making adjustments to your loved one’s living space. This can include removing rugs and extension cords that can cause falls, lowering the thermostat on hot water to prevent burns, and placing locks on cabinets containing medicine, alcohol, guns or other potentially dangerous items.

Take your time
Anticipate tasks that may take longer than usual and adjust your schedule to them. Be sure to also allow for break times in between tasks in case your loved one is tired or overwhelmed.

Involve them as much as they are able
When others can’t readily help with certain tasks, we tend to put them on the sidelines and do everything ourselves. However, it is important to include loved ones with Alzheimer’s as much as you can, or as much as they can handle in daily activities. For example, just because they need help getting dressed, that doesn’t mean they can’t help set the table or water the yard.

Don’t neglect your own needs
Taking care of a loved one is very time-consuming, but, to be the best caregiver you can be, you must also take care of yourself by making sure you are getting the necessary physical and emotional support. Be sure to be mindful of your mental health, take breaks to eat and exercise, and talk with a trusted friend or family member about what you are going through.

While we will always do everything in our power to help our loved ones, sometimes we need a little extra help. McPeak’s Assisted Living offers a wide range of services that can help care for and comfort those with Alzheimer’s, all while promoting awareness of their impairments. Visit our website to learn more about our services!

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