Alzheimer's disease is becoming more and more common among elderly people. In fact, about 5.1 million people over the age of 65 suffer from this condition, according to the Alzheimer's Association. If your family member was diagnosed with this disease, there are things you can do to make his life easier. Here is some helpful advice on how to care for a loved one with Alzheimer's.
Because your family member's cognitive abilities will decline as the disease progresses, you should try to be as flexible as possible. If you have to make some adjustments to your loved one's routine, do not make a big deal about it. For instance, if your family member gets frustrated when bathing, do not make him get in the shower every day. It may be helpful to give him sponge baths in between showers.
Do not Give Your Loved One Too Many Choices
A person with Alzheimer's already has enough trouble staying focused, so it is important to limit choices as much as possible. For example, if you are trying to decide on an activity for the day, do not ask your loved one what he wants to do. Instead, give him a choice between two different activities.
If your family member takes a while to answer your question or says something that you do not agree with, avoid interrupting. Not allowing your loved one to finish his sentences may frustrate him.
Stick to a Regular Routine
A regular routine will provide your loved one with some familiarity and comfort. If your family member does basically the same activities every day, it can reduce his anxiety and help him feel in control.
Hire a Caregiver
If you are struggling to watch over your family member all the time, you should think about hiring an in home caregiver. A trained healthcare professional will come to his home and assist him in any way he needs. When interviewing candidates, make sure to ask if they have worked with Alzheimer's patients in the past. You want to hire someone who knows a thing or two about your loved one's condition.
Alzheimer's disease is not easy on anyone, but it can be managed. If you follow these helpful tips, you can help your family member stay as comfortable as possible. Be patient with your loved one and be there when he needs you the most. For more information, contact companies like Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care.