Seeing your loved one battle Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming and stressful. So, Rather than taking giant leaps, the caretaker must be patient and consistent with their practices to achieve positive results over time.
However, providing Alzheimer’s care is a challenging task. In the long run, dealing with the patient’s symptoms can become problematic for the family members. So when your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the first thing to consider is developing the patience to start their healing journey.
As a family, you might be worried and lost when another fellow member is battling Alzheimer’s or dementia. Hence, today’s post will discuss four essential aspects that every caregiver must learn when attending to an Alzheimer’s patient.
Top 4 Tips About Being a Caregiver to Alzheimer’s Patients
You must know some key factors when caring for an Alzheimer’s patient.
- Managing Mood Swings
A vital aspect of caregiving is dealing with the frustration and mood swings of an Alzheimer’s patient. Even a professional hospice nurse or hospital staff can face challenges regarding the instability of an Alzheimer’s patient.
So it might be even more difficult for family members to see their loved ones suffer. In addition, the frustration built up in an Alzheimer patient can also take a toll on your mental health; hence you must stay strong.
The reason behind sudden mood swings is usually the difficulty of performing daily tasks for a dementia patient. Nevertheless, there are specific ways you can make things easier for the patient.
- Set up a daily schedule that helps the patient maximize their productivity
- Be patient even when the tasks are performed at a slower rate
- Get the active involvement of the patient to boost their confidence
- Ask them their preferences between limited choices
- Avoid them from getting off track during tasks by eliminating distractions
- Always give clear and straightforward instructions
- Avoid Rigidity
In most cases, Alzhemeir’s patients become more rigid and stubborn in their ways as time passes by. Such situations can be tricky to handle if you reciprocate their behavior. When you treat an Alzheimer’s patient with rigidity, you might create more issues for yourself.
Hence it is also better to be flexible from your side and accept their way of living. Insisting on specific tasks like bathing regularly can come with resistance. In such circumstances, avoid making them perform that particle activity often, but not at the cost of their health.
You might face several challenges in adjusting your schedule around an Alzheimer patient. However, as you observe their habits, try being flexible with your time and life. Ensure you provide them enough care without forgetting yourself or your life. This will help in avoiding frustration and resentment over time.
- Always Ensure The Surroundings Are Safe For an Alzhiemer’s Patient
Alzheirms not only make a person forgetful but also affect their cognitive abilities. For example, the patient might not have as good a sense of judgment as before about their environment. In addition, it also impairs problem-solving skills, which makes the person prone to accidents and injuries.
Ensure to make necessary changes in your house, like replacing items that might cause the patient to fall or slip. Installing handrails and grab bars is a must in a home where patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s live.
Moreover, installing good locks in all necessary places is vital. These locks can be added to drawers, cabinets, cupboards, etc., to prevent the patient from reaching potential threats. For example, medicines, alcohol, drugs, and guns should be kept behind locked compartments.
This might come as a surprise to you, but when taking care of an Alzheimer’s patient, you must pay attention to the little details like water temperature as well. Since your loved one cannot think about their safety, they might use water at an unsuitable temperature.
So make sure you lower the water heater’s thermostat to avoid burns. Also, remember to implement fire safety precautions in your house and keep matchsticks and lighters out of their reach. If the patient has a smoking habit, ensure they do it in the presence of a guardian.
Lastly, regularly check on your house’s fire extinguisher and smoke detectors and ensure they are in working condition.
- Provide Personalized Care
As a family member, it is evident that you will have affection and love in the care you provide to your ill loved one. However, personalized care not only includes treating the patient with respect and affection, but you must also be open-minded about their symptoms and behaviors related to Alzheimer’s.
Each person that struggles with Alzheimer’s will uniquely experience signs of the illness. Generalizing what they are experiencing based on your knowledge might create trouble for you and the patient to connect emotionally.
So the three critical factors of providing personalized care to the patient are patients, acceptance and flexibility.
As a caregiver of an Alzheimer’s patient, your duties are never-ending. However, it is also essential that you do not neglect yourself in the process of providing a comfortable life for your loved ones.
We at red rock hospice offer several caregiving programs and guidance sessions. If you wish to learn more about Alzheimer’s and how to make life easier around Alzheimer’s patients, contact us today!