How to Be a Great Caregiver for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s

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Providing care to seniors with Alzheimer’s is never an easy task. On an average day, Alzheimer’s caregivers may have to handle an array of challenges, ranging from communicating with their aging loved ones to navigating health insurance policies. Ahead, learn how to become the best possible Alzheimer’s caregiver.

Stay Informed

To provide excellent care to a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, you need to understand the condition. You can learn more about Alzheimer’s by talking to your loved one’s doctor, reading books, or attending educational programs on the disease. You should also ask friends and family members about their experience with Alzheimer’s, and if you need additional help, consider joining a support group. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease with three basic stages: mild, moderate, and severe. When you do your research, you may be better able to prepare for the progression of your loved one’s Alzheimer’s.

One of the first things to consider is whether and when to hire a professional Alzheimer’s caregiver for your loved one. Families looking for top-rated home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

Develop Communication Strategies

As Alzheimer’s begins to take a toll on memory, seniors have a difficult time communicating. They may not be able to find the right word or pay attention during conversations. You need to understand the ways Alzheimer’s inhibits communication and devise strategies that assist with daily conversations. Effective strategies include making eye contact, speaking in a soothing tone of voice, and punctuating conversations with gentle touches. You should also encourage your loved one to speak up and make decisions. To facilitate this, remain emotionally available and open to your loved one’s concerns.

Adapt Daily Activities

Seniors with Alzheimer’s may have a difficult time performing many standard activities, ranging from household chores to grooming tasks. When seniors realize they can no longer perform tasks that were once simple, they often become depressed or anxious. Staying active is good for seniors with Alzheimer’s, but to prevent frustration, you should adapt activities to suit your loved one’s needs. To make activities enjoyable, help your loved one get started, let him or her contribute as much as possible, and make sure he or she feels successful when the activity is completed. This strategy can be employed for a variety of tasks, ranging from brushing teeth to taking the dog for a walk.

A trained Alzheimer’s caregiver can be a wonderful source of information and support for family caregivers. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. Amarillo families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Develop Strategies for Challenging Symptoms

Over time, Alzheimer’s can lead to unexpected personality and behavioral changes. Common examples include irritability/aggression, hallucinations, paranoia, wandering, rummaging, and sundowning. To manage these behaviors, establish a daily routine that provides each day with a comforting structure. When your loved one exhibits challenging Alzheimer’s symptoms, don’t try to argue. It’s best to focus on your loved one’s feelings, even if they seem illogical, and to make him or her feel safe and loved. When possible, try to discover the root cause of the problem. For example, seniors who wander at sundown may be restless because they’re not getting enough daily exercise.

Create a Safe Home Environment

Seniors with Alzheimer’s need to feel emotionally safe. They also need to be physically safe. As the disease progresses, seniors are at greater risk for injuries and accidents. To make your loved one’s home safe, get rid of clutter and trip hazards. It’s also important to install safety measures, such as grab bars, smoke alarms, childproof plugs, and safety knobs on kitchen appliances.

Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. Amarillo Home Care Assistance provides Alzheimer’s care seniors and their families can depend on. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives. For compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (806) 803-9991 to learn about the high quality of our in-home Alzheimer’s care services.