HELPFUL TIPS FOR ALZHEIMER'S AND DEMENTIA CAREGIVERS
It can be long, stressful, and highly emotional to care for someone with Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia. Many people all over America care for someone with dementia. And because there is no cure for dementia or Alzheimer's and only limited medical treatments available for the symptoms, your caregiving is essential as it makes the most significant difference to your loved one's quality of life.
However, caregiving a patient with Alzheimer's or dementia can be depressing. It can cause a high level of stress and burnout as your loved one's cognitive, physical, and functional abilities decline. That is why some family members opt for Alzheimer’s care Tampa to provide the care that their loved ones need. Here are some tips to help lessen the burden of caregiving your loved one with Alzheimer's.
Learn About Alzheimer's Disease
As Alzheimer's progresses, its symptoms worsen and can bring new challenges for you as a caregiver. To help you plan ahead, it would be best to understand the stages of Alzheimer's and their associated symptoms.
There are three stages of Alzheimer’s disease: mild, moderate, and severe and you have to understand these stages.
- Mild - patients who have mild or early-stage Alzheimer's disease can still function independently and continue engaging in professional and social activities. During this stage, they may have trouble focusing or remembering recent events, and they may be able to remember some words or names. Some of the other early signs of Alzheimer's are difficulties with problem solving and writing.
this stage involves significant memory loss, confusion, and physical symptoms. Patients may also show the following symptoms:
- Trouble recognizing family members and friends
- Trouble organizing or following instructions
- Difficulty performing daily tasks, like getting dressed
- Having a hard time falling asleep or restlessness
- Getting lost or wander
- Urinary or fecal incontinence
- Personality changes
- Severe - in the final stage of Alzheimer's, patients need help with the most basic daily activities, like walking, eating, and sitting up. They may also lose their ability to engage in conversation and have trouble chewing or swallowing. Patients with severe Alzheimer's lose awareness of their environment and can no longer recognize their family members.
A patient with Alzheimer's may get agitated when once-simple tasks become difficult. To lessen difficulties and reduce frustration:
- Create a routine: Create a daily routine. Like bathing or medical appointments, some tasks are more manageable when the patient is most alert and refreshed. However, it would be best if you also are flexible for spontaneous activities or challenging days.
- Take your time: Expect that most tasks take longer than they used to and schedule more time for them. Allow time for breaks during tasks.
- Involve the patient: let the patient do as much as possible with the least amount of assistance. For instance, the patient may be able to set the table with visual cues or dress independently if you prepare the clothes in the order they go on.
- Give choices: Always give the patients some options but do not give too many. For example, ask if the patient wants a hot or cold drink. You should also provide two outfits that he or she can choose from.
- Use simple instructions: The patient may have difficulties understanding instructions. It would be best to use clear and concise instructions when speaking with them.
- Limit napping: Do not allow the patient to have multiple or prolonged naps during the day to minimize the risk of getting days and nights reversed.
- Minimize distractions: During mealtime and conversation, minimize distractions, like TV and other things, make it easier for the patient to focus.
Eventually, a patient with Alzheimer's will become more dependent, so you have to stay flexible and adapt your routine and expectation as required to lessen difficulties.
Establish a Safe Environment
An Alzheimer's patient may lose judgment and problem-solving skills, which increases the risk of injury. Establish an environment that will keep the patient safe and lessen the risk of accidents and injuries.
We understand how difficult it may be to discuss with family members about Alzheimer's care Tampa. It can be daunting to search for the right Tampa dementia home care provider. Therefore, we are here to help you make this process easy as possible for you and your family.