Strategies for caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients can help

Bryan Aldrige

February 21, 2011

Those who are caring for a spouse or partner who has Alzheimer's disease may be at a loss when it comes to properly attending to a loved one's needs. Expert Kathryn Haslanger recently outlined some strategies that one can use to improve a patient's life satisfaction and make their responsibilities easier.

She writes in The Huffington Post that individuals with Alzheimer's are drawn to simple comforts and routines. By giving them a doll to carry or chocolate to eat or helping establish a predictable task for each day can help calm the patient.

If caregivers allow the person to engage in what they want to do, but apply safe boundaries to the activity, their job may become less burdensome. An Alzheimer's patient who had a strong interest in one particular subject should be entertained with items or habits that apply to that topic or hobby.

Families who are feeling stressed by their responsibilities may want to invest in a senior alert system as well. This device can enable users to instantly send a personal emergency response message to loved ones or doctors if they are in need of assistance.

The Alzheimer's Association estimates that 5.3 million Americans have the disease and are cared for by 10.9 million unpaid caregivers across the country.