The struggle in Alzheimer’s can be equally as difficult for the person who is taking care of them. Not only is it sometimes painful to watch, but it can be hard to assess what to do and what the best way to handle certain situations will be. First and foremost, make sure to take care of yourself. Make sure that you are eating right, sleeping right and getting all of the outside support you need. As for taking care of your patient, here are a couple of ideas.
Since you are going to be spending a lot of time with this person, make sure that you are interested in who they are. Ask them about their kids, grandkids or career. Ask them what they like and what they dislike. The more you know about them, the easier your life will be. Be sure to share things about yourself as well. This will ease their anxieties and help the two of you create a bond so that they are more likely to let you help them.
Alzheimer’s sufferers are often overwhelmed and cannot move at the same pace as a healthy person. Try to keep things simple in day-to-day tasks. Slow down when you speak with them. Most importantly, let them try to do things on their own and at their own pace.
It is not uncommon for someone with Alzheimer’s disease to lash out in anger or aggression. You don’t need to feel at risk or put yourself in a stressful situation. Feel free to take a step back and leave their general proximity but with enough room so that you can still monitor them for their safety. After an outburst, try to identify what triggered their outburst so that it can be avoided in the future.
Share with Other Caregivers
All of you are going through the same experience. Maybe you have a tip that works well and maybe they have a tip of something that does not. Be cautious of the things you do that are successful. When you help each other, your lives get easier, and you also create bonds with those people who are going through a similar experience.