Caring for those with Alzheimer’s

June has a lot of awareness packed into it. One that often gets overlooked is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness. One in nine adults over age 65 will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. If you’re caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s here s a few tips to help everyone:

  1. Make a Routine

Keeping a routine can keep the guessing to a minimum. It helps to know what is expected, and when. Tasks that require the most concentration can be scheduled for morning when the person is most alert.

2. Stay Calm

It can be easy to get frustrated, but doing so only makes things worse. If you’re frustrated, think how they must feel. Keeping a calming voice and being reassuring can do wonders when someone is struggling. Even a small comment of “I’m with you”, “You’re safe”, or “Take your time” can make a huge difference.

3. Don’t Overstimulate

When a lot is going on it can be easy to give 2-3 directions at a time, but this often leads to confusion. Taking the time to give simple clear instructions, one at a time can help things get done successfully. Make sure you give the person time to process the information, remember, everything is different for them now so things take a little longer to make sense. Being patient can be the difference between frustration and success.

4. Assist in Independence

While complete independence isn’t realistic for someone with Alzheimer’s, they can still be involved in many decisions for themselves. Asking simple this or that questions, or giving an option between 2 outfits can help the person continue to feel in control.

5. Don’t do it Alone

This is one of the most important things when caring for a loved one. It can be easy to get overwhelmed and stressed when doing it alone. Let others help or reach out for help through organizations. Some offer medical help, while others offer simply a night away. The best thing you can do for them, is take care of yourself.

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