Tips for Alzheimer's CareGivers

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The Middle Stages of Alzheimer’s

Everyone’s safety has to be the top concern now. You will need to think about safety every time you make a decision. Her memory loss will not get better. It will get worse. The plans that worked in the early stages of Alzheimer’s will stop working. Your loved one will get more confused. This will lead to changes in how she acts that don’t make sense to you.
The Middle Stages of Alzheimer’s may last from 2-10 years. Changes in how people act and the need for someone to be with them all the times are part of this stage. The changes in how our loved ones act are the hardest to deal with.
The parts of the brain that are being damaged in the Middle Stages tell us how to do things such as:
– Act
– Walk
– Sit down and get up
– Go to the bathroom
– Find our way around the house
– Get dressed
– Deal with noise, lights and crowds
In the Early Stages you may have been able to leave a note reminding her to eat. You could call her on the phone and tell her to check the stove to be sure she had turned it off. She was able to stay alone for a good part of the time as long as you were checking in with her. None of this will work any longer in the Middle Stages.
You may see other changes in her behavior such as:
– Tell the Same story over and over again
– Ask the same questions over and over again
– Talk but the words don’t make much sense
– Argue with you about certain tasks like taking a bath
– Fidget with things
– Walk around the house all the time
– Try to leave the house and go “home”
Though choices need to be made. You need to be there to watch, step in when needed, and take charge. You will need to decide one of three things:
– Are you going to move in with your loved one?
– Are you going to move your loved one in with you?
– Are you going to pay a nursing home or someone else to care for your loved one?
Talk to your loved ones doctor before you make up your plan. Talk with your support group. Things such as money, family, where you live, and if you work will all play intro what you decide.
Families often do not agree on the best way to plan care for the loved one with Alzheimer’s. Call the family together and get all the ideas out on the table. Once your family is talking, decide how each person is going to help. You will need help with the day-to-day care, and you may need to help with money.
Don’t expect her to be happy about you moving in with her or her moving in with you. This change will be tough on everyone. You may need to explain to her why you need to live together, such as:
– “Money is tight and this will really help me out”
– “I would really like the company”
– “We can share the bills”
– “You always seem tired. I can help with laundry and cleaning the house”
– “I want to spend more time with you”
The transformation will never be easy but you can make the process easier for everyone to handle.

Information from Coach Broyles’ Playbook for Alheimers CareGivers

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