Did you know Alzheimer’s is one of the most common progressive chronic diseases in the USA? You read that right.
Along with affecting a person’s behavior, memory, and thoughts, Alzheimer’s also destroys the brain cells. In fact, about 5.6 million individuals affected with Alzheimer’s were residing in the USA in 2016 – as per CDC.
This article is for you if you have an Alzheimer’s patient and need tips for their care. Continue reading.
Know the Types First
This is the first step to help the patient.
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s worsens with the progression of the disease. The worsening of the symptoms may give you newer challenges as a caregiver.
Understanding the stages and the symptoms with the associated stages will help you better care for the person.
Alzheimer’s is broadly classified into three different stages:
Individuals falling in the early stage of Alzheimer’s can function independently. The general symptoms noted in individuals falling in the early stage may include the following:
- Difficulty in remembering certain recent events.
- Difficulty in concentration.
- Forget some names and words.
- Difficulty in problem-solving.
- Difficulty in writing.
A caregiver may notice memory loss, physician symptoms, and confusion in the patient.
Some of the other symptoms associated with this stage may include:
- Difficulty performing activities of daily living.
- Difficulty recognizing family members.
- Change in personality.
- Incontinence – fecal or urinary.
- Difficulty sleeping.
Individuals in this case generally need assistance in performing daily living activities.
The symptoms include:
- Inability to make or maintain a conversation.
- Difficulty in eating.
- Loss of general awareness.
The point: Once you understand the severity of the condition, you can decide on the next steps to take.
Importance of Routine
You can establish the patient’s comfort by maintaining a daily routine. This will help the individual develop familiarity. However, you should avoid making changes in the routine as they may lead to confusion.
If you think the changes in the routine are inevitable, try to introduce them slowly. The patient with Alzheimer’s will require more time to adjust to the new changes.
Deciding the day and planning things can go a long way in ensuring a good day for an Alzheimer’s patient.
You can take care of the patient by doing the below activities:
- Helping them meet friends and family.
- Cooking for them.
- Helping the patient perform light exercises.
- Giving them books to read or board games to play.
- Making them listen to some music.
You can also plan an outing like visiting a park when the patient is having the best time of the day. Some individuals might be more active during the day; some might be more active at night.
The patient’s energy levels need to be monitored on the outing and need to be brought home when the individual is feeling tired.
Alzheimer’s affects an individual’s communication abilities. It is observed that the individual experiences difficulty remembering and interpreting certain words and getting lost in the middle of a sentence.
Here’s what you can do to maintain proper communication:
- Use a soft and calming tone to communicate with the patient.
- Address the individual by name.
- Ask one question at an instance.
- Keep constant eye contact
- Maintain a smile.
- Maintain calmness when the patient has an anger outburst
Maintaining the above communication types will encourage the patient to participate in the daily activities instead of freezing.
Boost their Self-confidence
You can alleviate the anxiety of the Alzheimers patient if you convince them that they look and feel good.
Here’s what you can do to achieve this:
- Keep their nails trimmed.
- Brushing their teeth regularly.
- Giving them extra time to get dressed.
- Helping them style the outfits according to their personality.
They can be your parents or a close relative – it doesn’t matter. The tips mentioned above will help you take care of any Alzheimer’s patient.
Remember, taking care of your parent with Alzheimers can be emotionally taxing. You have to believe in the process and stay with them. We are sure you will be able to eliminate many symptoms with the tips mentioned above.