Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease

From Alzheimer’s Care Daily

Caring with someone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease presents its own unique challenges. This memory-losing illness is caused when many nerve cells in the brain die, making it nearly impossible to remember old memories, appointments, errands, or even the ability to think clearly.

Here are the top 10 early symptoms to look for in someone you suspect might have Alzheimer’s:

• Forgetting appointments and names that normally would have been remembered

• Difficulty in solving problems, following a recipe, or completing a puzzle

• Need help completing simple, everyday tasks, such as using the stove or playing a game

• Confusion in what day it is and where they are

• Difficulty speaking or writing

• Constantly misplacing items

• Forgetting how to complete a favorite hobby, such as knitting

• A shift in mood; one day they may be happy, the next they could be aggressive, depressed, paranoid, or anxious

• Poor judgement or choices

• Vision problems, making it difficult to judge distance when driving or determine colors

How the Caregiver Can Help

If a loved one is receiving in-home care with the help of a caregiver, there are plenty of ways this person can help make life easier for the senior.

Keep Tasks and Ideas Simple: Someone with Alzheimer’s may have a difficult time understanding complex requests or ideas. To make it much less stressful and easier to comprehend, speak slowly and talk about one topic at a time.

Have a Daily Routine and Stick to It: Senior citizens with this condition like to know what is going to happen and do not respond well to surprises. Write down a daily routine and try to avoid straying from it. For example, try to have meals, activities, and rest times at the same time every day.

Create a Safe Environment: Let them know that they are safe and that nothing will harm them. This also means hiding any frustration or stress the caregiver may be feeling while assisting with senior care.

Let Them Help: Asking for help on tasks, such as folding laundry or sweeping, will let them feel helpful.

Have Fun: Let the senior feel a moment of happiness by doing something fun, such as singing a song, dancing, or going for a walk in order to distract them from the negative mood they may have been in.

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be stressful, especially when not able to predict their mood. However, these tips will help make the environment for both the senior accepting elder care and the caregiver a much more positive one.