Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia also called senile dementia. It causes progressive neurodegenerative disorders that usually start with mild memory loss and progress to cognitive and behavioral deterioration.
Alzheimer's disease significantly impairs cognitive and behavioral functions in a way that the individual need support from caregivers or family members to cope with life.
Fifty-five million people are living with Alzheimer's disease worldwide, and the statistics are expected to be around 139 million by 2050.
The role of the caregivers of people living with Alzheimer's disease increases as the condition deteriorates. The following tips are about how to care for someone with Alzheimer's disease.
1. Learn about Alzheimer's disease
Understanding the person's condition will give you an insight into what they are going through and how you can support them as the disease progresses.
Alzheimer's disease has three stages mild, moderate and severe. Each stage has its symptoms. The mild state is the onset of the disease, while the moderate state is the transitory state to the final state of the disease.
During the last stage, people lose almost all their cognitive and behavioral functions and require help with everything.
2. Have a Routine and Be Flexible
People with Alzheimer's disease are comfortable with family activities because it gives them a sense of familiarity. Caregivers should create routines around activities that they find meaningful.
A stable routine reduces frustration and improves mood and a sense of safety in people with Alzheimer's disease.
As time goes on, their needs are likely to change. It is crucial to adapt your routine to meet their needs to avoid frustration.
3. Encourage Open Communication
As Alzheimer's disease progresses, a person's cognitive and behavioral health deteriorates. They may have problems communicating with others, and their words may be less coherent.
Here are tips for facilitating communication in people with Alzheimer's disease;
- Keep eye contact
- One question at a time
- Call their name
- Be relaxed and speak calmly, even when annoyed.
4. Keep them Engaged
People with Alzheimer's disease feel good and important when you allow them to participate in activities.
Asking them to help with, say, home chores will keep their muscles and brain active and reduce their level of anxiety, which is a result of their improved self-esteem.
However, the assigned task mustn't be beyond their capability.
5. Keep them Safe
Alzheimer's disease impairs judgment, especially in the final state. People with Alzheimer's disease are more disposed to accidents during this phase which makes it the caregiver's responsibility.
Take all safety precautions and keep away all potentially dangerous objects. Part of keeping them safe is to ensure they have a wholesome diet.
Other Way to Help an Alzheimer's Patient
- Be patient and understanding
- Give them choices
- Get them a pet
- Individual-tailored care
Caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease can be frustrating, especially when their needs do not align with the caregiver's expectations.
With the right tips like those offered in this post, a community like NDIS provider Sydney, and patience, you will find the experience rewarding.