When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, many caregivers decide to care for them at home. AgingCare.com provides some tips for handling the challenges and changes as the disease progresses.
Caring for a loved one at home can be a difficult and potentially overwhelming task. Each day brings new challenges as you cope with changing ability levels and new patterns of behavior, like wandering and hallucinations. Simple tasks that were second nature in the past, such as dressing, bathing and eating become increasingly difficult to manage. Having a plan for getting through the day can help you cope.
Many caregivers have devised their own strategies for dealing with difficult behaviors and stressful situations. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for dementia caregivers, so the only way to find out what works for you is through trial and error. Each person with Alzheimer’s will respond differently to different strategies, and their effectiveness is likely to change over the course of the disease.
Devise a Daily Routine
Begin by studying your loved one’s daily routines. Try to detect patterns in behavior and to see if you can alter your routines to make things go more smoothly. For example, if your loved one is less confused or more cooperative in the mornings, adapt your routine to make the most of those moments. Keep in mind that abilities and preferences will fluctuate from day to day, so try to be flexible and adapt your routine as needed. From there, you can incorporate tips and strategies in the categories below to facilitate caring for your loved one.
Read more for tips on communication, bathing, dressing, eating activities, incontinence, sundowning and sleep problems, wandering, home safety and more.