A person suffering from dementia will encounter increasing levels of agitation and confusion as their memory becomes less reliable. With nearly six million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s, you may find yourself becoming a caregiver to a loved one with this condition. It can be helpful to know a few tips to help your family member feel safe and calm and ease potential frustration as once simple tasks become difficult.
Useful Tips to Help With Alzheimer’s
- Keep their environment as simple, neat and free of clutter as possible. Reducing the number of items in their surroundings can make it easier for them when they need to find a particular thing.
- Encourage and periodically remind them to engage in regular exercise. Falling is a common problem for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s. The better shape they are in, the higher the chance they may avoid a fall or suffer less injury if they do fall. Yoga is particularly helpful since it will also improve their balance.
- Ensure your loved one has a smartphone on them at all times. See to it that emergency numbers and frequent contacts are easily visible on the phone.
- Limit the amount of noise and movement around them. Alzheimer’s sufferers can be easily overwhelmed by plenty of sounds and movement in their vicinity, so you may want to avoid shopping at times when stores are crowded. Keeping the TV off when doing another activity can also be a helpful elimination of a distraction.
- Keep them involved in life. People with Alzheimer’s still need stimulation in their lives. In fact, it’s even more critical for them. Encourage them to stay active in any hobbies they may like, and offer to help them with transportation if they want to see friends, so they stay socially active.
- Try to stick to a routine. Changes in their routine can be difficult for people with Alzheimer’s. This is not to say that there shouldn’t be some spontaneous activities to engage in with them, but familiarity in their daily routine can bring a sense of calm in an increasingly unfamiliar world.
- Make sure their environment is as safe as possible. Avoid having extension cords draped across the floor or scatter rugs that they may trip on. Put locks on any cabinets or other storage areas that contain anything dangerous. Matches and lighters would fall under this “anything dangerous” category. If they smoke, make sure they only have the ability to do so under supervision.
Having a loved one diagnosed with a disease such as Alzheimer’s will dramatically change the importance of your role in their life. Following the above tips can help you reduce frustrations that they experience on a regular basis. As the disease progresses, they will become more dependent upon you for their care. For this reason, perhaps the most important tip is patience. Always realize that they didn’t ask for this situation anymore than you did as someone caring for them and that your love and support can help them immeasurably during this difficult time in their life.
If you find that caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is more than you can handle, you should realize that there is help available. Perhaps you have a job and you just can’t devote the hours that a loved one suffering from dementia requires. There are non-medical home care companies that enable seniors who are infirm, disabled or suffering from dementia to receive reliable, compassionate care right in their homes. If your loved one is in Southern New Jersey, Home to Stay Health Care Solutions is a perfect example of such a service. They are the only certified provider of enhanced dementia care in their area, and they’ll provide you peace of mind that your family member is being well cared for when you are not able to give the attention that you wish you could.
Home to Stay Senior Care Solutions is owned and operated by the Dubler and Skole Families and was started because of experiences they had with their own Families. In one situation Mom was living alone and had a fall. It was not until this fall that the family realized they were unprepared.
When it was time for their Mom to come home, she needed companion and personal care to assist her and prevent another accident. Like most people in this situation, they were confused and did not know where to go for help. It was this life-changing experience that lead to starting a home care company that is focused on enabling those who wish to stay at home and age in place.