Handy Tips For Effective Alzheimer’s & Dementia Caregiving
Alzheimer’s and dementia caregiving can be frustrating at times. It demands a ton of patience and flexibility. As a caregiver, you are expected to offer your best and create a safe environment, even when faced with limited choices.
A person with Alzheimer’s or dementia can get agitated by the smallest of tasks, and this causes them to view them as difficult to handle. Your roles in assisting such a person to overcome his or her challenges and ease frustration will increase as the disease progresses. Given this, you should come up with ways that will help you manage the different duties effectively. Below are a few tips that will prove useful.
To Reduce Frustrations
You need to come up with a daily routine. Some of the tasks, like eating, bathing, and medical checkups, may be easier when the patient is refreshed and alert. Also, be cautious about making from for some spontaneous things, especially during the days when things seem not to be going so well.
Take Your Time
You need to not only be able to anticipate some of the things that the person needs, but also schedule more time for the unexpected. You also need to allocate time for breaks in-between tasks.
Involve The Person
As you try and be there for the person in need of your caregiving, try not to go overboard with the aid you provide. For instance, you can use visual cues to help the person set the table. Or you can lay out clothes in order of how they go on and the patient can dress up independently.
You should give the patient some choices every day, but not too many. You can layout two outfits and let the person pick what he or she prefers. You can even ask what the patient likes between one of two options.
Provide Simple Instructions
Remember that you are the nature of the person’s state of health; hence, the need to use one-step communication that will help the patient understand.
Do not encourage the patient to have many or prolonged daytime naps. It will help lower the risk of having reversed wake hours during the days and nights.
Minimizing distractions helps the person focus. For example, you can turn off the TV during mealtime and limit conversations.
With proper aid and guidance, the person with Alzheimer’s or dementia may become more dependent. You, therefore, will have to be flexible and adjust your routine to be able to meet or deal with the unexpected. For instance, you can buy a few identical things, such as similar outfits, if the person wants to wear the same clothes every day.
Create A Safe Environment
Since dementia and Alzheimer’s disease will impair the person’s judgment and ability to tackle problems. The risk of them injuring themselves is significant. As such, you need to establish a safe environment for the patient.
Get rid of scatter rugs, and loose wires as well as any clutter that may cause the person to trip and fall. Also, consider installing grab bars and handrails in crucial sections of the home.
Ensure that any storage spaces that have anything that may be potentially harmful, such as sharp objects, toxic substances, medicine, and alcohol, are secured with locks.
Check Water Temperature
Set the hot-water heater at a mild temperature to prevent burns.
Take Fire Safety Precautions
Makes sure that all lighters and matches are out of reach. If the patient smokes, then this should always be done under close supervision. The fire extinguisher should always be easily accessible, and smoke detectors fully functional.
Focus On Individualized Care
Keep in mind that every case of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is unique, that the experiences with every patient will be different. Therefore, you need to come up with ways of being flexible. And always remember to be patient with the person and you promote self-care and independence when providing the necessary care and support.