4 Tips For Caring For a Loved One With Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that has a dramatic effect on the life of sufferers and their families. As a general rule, we are all overwhelmed with conflicting emotions when it comes to caring for a loved one affected by any type of disease. However, looking after a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is an incredibly demanding experience both physically and mentally. To make your journey more manageable and even rewarding, it’s important to educate yourself about caring for someone with the disease.
Here are five tips for caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease that will not only reduce caregiver stress, but will help you have a better understanding of this debilitating and challenging condition as well:
1. Accept Their Reality
One of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease is losing touch with the present time and living in the past. This is not a choice. The memory of those long gone times often represents their new reality. Your first instinct might be to correct them and try to bring them back to the present. The truth is that you can’t fight the effects of Alzheimer’s on the memory, so correcting your love one all the time could make them unhappy. So accept their reality and participate in their stories that un-winded 50 years ago. This is a very important aspect of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.
2. Shifting Focus
One of the most difficult parts of caring for someone who suffers from Alzheimer’s is accepting their verbally and sometimes physically violent behavior. You may hear your loved one yell or have other types of emotional outbursts. Although you may be upset when they offend you and call you names, you need to take an emotional shift and build a shield to protect you from their involuntary insults and so on. It’s a good idea to shift their focus onto something else instead of letting their behavior continue.
3. Use Rewards
You will learn that caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can sometimes seem similar to caring for very small children. You might find it impossible to reason with your loved one and the only thing that gets them to do the things they need to do is using rewards. At times, getting them to take a simple shower might be impossible to achieve through arguing or reasoning. One alternative is to make the task more attractive by offering them something that you know they want, such as their favorite dessert or meal, after the task is completed.
4. Accept Their Illness
It is probably the hardest thing that you will ever have do in your entire life: seeing your loved one’s health decline and not being able to do anything about it. Alzheimer’s can take a piece of your loved one with every day that passes and accepting their illness is the only way that you can offer them the best quality of life they deserve. The key to caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is accepting the situation and making the best of a very tough time for them, as well as for yourself.
At Bayshore Home Health, we understand that caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be difficult. We offer care services and home nursing services that can help you manage your loved one’s medical and companionship needs. Contact us today at 1-877-289-3997 to learn more about our in home care services.