How to Care for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s
November 2, 2015
November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and it also happens to be Family Caregiver Month. So, what better way to honor both than to discuss tips for those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.
We met with Alex Morris from Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California and Northern Nevada. Alex took us through what caregivers should look out for in the early stages and when it might be time to take your loved one to get checked for Alzheimer’s. She also gives insight on what caregivers should expect over the next few years, some helpful tips to make communication easier and other great resources caregiver’s might want to take advantage of.
The Alzheimer’s Association reports that in the U.S. there are more than 15 million Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers. Alzheimer’s Disease fundamentally alters the mental state of it’s victims, which makes it very difficult to cope with for the patient and for their caregiver.
Being a caregiver is tough enough without the added challenges that come with the disease. Throughout this article, we’ll share helpful Alzheimer’s care tips and resources from all across the web.
The Alzheimer’s Association’s Top 5 Care Tips
1.) Try not to take behaviors personally.
Their behavior is not personal, their brain functioning has been significantly altered. They do not mean to be difficult or argumentative.
2.) Remain patient and calm.
This is the key. Remind yourself that their inability to remember can be quite terrifying and frustrating for them, so always try to be calm and kind with them.
3.) Explore pain as a trigger.
Sometimes pain can cause a person with Alzheimer’s to behave aggressively. Try to rule out pain when trying to find the trigger for their aggression. If you do find there’s pain, take them to the doctor to see what can be done to treat it.
4.) Don’t argue or try to convince.
You can go in circles all day if you’re trying to convince someone with Alzheimer’s of something. Sometimes they can’t be reasoned with. Instead, change the direction of the conversation.
5.) Accept behaviors as a reality of the disease and try to work through it.
Acknowledge the facts and do the best you can.
The Alzheimer’s Association provides a variety of resources for both patients and caregivers that include but are not limited to education, early-stage engagement activities, support groups, advocacy and safety information.
Alz.org has endless information that is helpful for those who might just want to learn about the disease, for family and friends learning how to transition their lifestyle and be better caregivers and for patients who are unsure where to get help.
For those who would like to speak directly to someone in person, you can visit the website to search for your local chapter, or you can call the Alzheimer’s Association Hotline to get the same information that is provided on the website at 1-800-272-3900.
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