Caregivers and Alzheimer’s or Dementia

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As our clients and loved ones may be going through difficult times if diagnosed with Alzheimers or Dementia, we as a society and as a family want to find out more. We want to learn as much about this diagnosis as possible. We want to be there for our loved ones, we want to help. So as we surf the web for information, one of the questions that sometimes goes unasked is a very important one. “What can I do on a daily basis to help my loved one?”

Our caregivers are taught several different things that help when dealing with a loved one with Dementia or Alzheimer’s.

  • Be Patient: At times, it can be exhausting to repeat yourself. You can become frustrated with something that is as simple as remembering what you said two minutes before. But you must remember that as your loved one progresses in either of these diseases, something you deem simple, is not simple at all. That is because they’re brains are going through negative physical changes that they cannot help.
  • Be Compassionate: Understanding the disease that your loved one is dealing with can help you because it explains some of the behaviors that they could be displaying. Especially if these behaviors are not normal for your loved one.
  • Know your loved one’s history: Knowing something about your loved ones’ history can help you because it gives you an emotional connection to them for moments when they seem far away. It can also help on a medical level. If you notice changes in your loved ones behavior, even the smallest changes, bringing these up to their Dr. or nurse, will help point out that these behaviors are not normal. Allowing you to be the whistle blower should your loved one be dealing with an underlying issue.
  • One Step Command’s: Patients with Dementia or Alzheimer’s cannot process Long commands. It is because of the disease itself. So using single commands, “sit down, turn right, one steps” can help you navigate the simplest activities.
  • Live in their reality: If your loved one believes something that is not true, such as their parents are there, they need to go home, or other things of the sort. It would be easy to simply tell them how it is, but that is not the best way to handle the situation. For your loved ones peace of mind, and comfort, it is always better to simply step into their reality, and possibly redirect them onto a different subject.
  • Stimulation: There is a such thing as too much stimulation, whether it be a large amount of people in the house, a loud stereo or TV, or even too much light. These are things that sometimes can upset your loved one and cause a behavior that is not normal. Having a calm comfortable environment is preferrable to anyone! Along with too much stimulation is too little. Sometimes our loved ones without stimulation will fail to take care of themselves. Will fail to use the bathroom, or eat supper, or take medication.

Some other things to keep in mind that we at A Caring Hand and Heart like to implement are having a consistent schedule. Having a consistent schedule for a senior or loved one helps their body and helps their mind. Seeing a regular face and going through a regular set of motions helps them. This is why we like to set up a caregiver, or caregiving team with each client. Allowing them to get used to one or two faces on a regular basis. As well as allow them to build relationships and provide the best care possible.

We’re here to help, so please call us with questions or concerns!

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