Caring for your loved one with Alzheimer’s is not an easy task. A caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s faces many challenges. Caring for a loved one with Dementia/Alzheimer’s starts with knowing more about your loved one and knowing more about what they need. Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is not about feeling sorrow or sadness at the discovery your loved one has Dementia/Alzheimer’s. People living with Alzheimer’s do not want pity; they want understanding and want to feel they are still human. They still have human needs and wants. In addition, they are hungry for companionship, because their feelings are more increased than the people caring for them. This occurs because while their memory decreases, their feelings increase. Therefore, when you are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia remember that live you are holding in your hand is frail and as sacred and may feel so alone.
People with Alzheimer’s or dementia, have special needs and require special help. This can cause inimitable challenges for their caregivers. Depending on the level of independence, your loved one has, they may need help with personal care activities, including eating, bathing, and using the toilet. To assist with these activities, caregivers need knowledge, skill, and patience. It is very important to establish a routine for your loved one. It is also important to choose the most relaxed time of the day for bathing and grooming, and make meals the same place, same time every day, or at least very close to the same time.
Always remember to respect your loved one’s privacy. Close doors and blinds. Cover him or her with a towel or bathrobe. Remember they are still human and still need love and respect at all times. If possible encourage your loved one to do as much as they can by themselves. This will help to promote a sense of independence and accomplishment. This will also have you feeling the rewards of caring for them. Keep in mind your loved one’s abilities, and always give them enough time to complete each task, and do not rush them this may make them anxious and agitated. It is good to remember a cool, calm, safe atmosphere is the best atmosphere for the person with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
When caring for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s give encouragement and support as they complete tasks. It is good to acknowledge their efforts when they complete something no matter how long it takes to complete it. If you have to take care of day to day needs always remember to tell your loved one what you are doing before doing it. Many individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s can become agitated when someone just comes up to them and start completing tasks they did for years themselves. It is always good to say things like “I’m going to wash your hair now.” If your loved one can dress himself or herself, lay out the clothes in the order they are to be put on. Clothing that is easy to put on, with few buttons, is best.
People with Alzheimer’s or dementia have confusion and a lack of energy, and this can get worse with poor nutrition. Poor nutrition can occur because they forget how to feed themselves or can’t remember how to use utensils. You can help this by either feeding or loved one or try providing finger food. Encourage independent eating if your loved one is able. Consider serving finger foods that are easier for the person to handle and eat. Many people with Alzheimer’s or dementia eat well with finger food. It is a good rule of thumb to provide your loved one with a nutritious diet and plenty of healthy fluids, such as water or juice. In addition, even if it is the same thing every day make available things they like and you know they will eat. Remember don’t force feed. This can make them agitated and they become combative and will not eat. Try to encourage your loved one to eat, and try to find out why they don’t want to eat. Always remember to treat your loved one as an adult, not a child.
If you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia you should experience pride and joy in caring for them. This is hard to do, but remember you have made a commitment to providing a positive and loving experience to their continual days of living. As your loved one’s dementia or Alzheimer’s progress you need to stay informed, educated, so you can provide the best care for your loved one. Families need to stay informed of the progress of the loved one in a nursing facility. In addition, families need to visit the facility and keep tabs on the care your loved one is receiving, so they are provided the best care possible if not from a loved one.
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s could be the toughest job you ever have. It is a tough job of compassion, love, and commitment to family. It’s important to stay physically and emotionally healthy when you are providing care. It is not selfish to worry about your own health, because taking care of yourself means you will be there for the person who needs you. Caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s also includes taking care of the caregiver. This means finding support, because care-giving can also become overwhelming, as your loved one’s cognitive, physical, and functional abilities diminish over a period of years. It’s not hard easy to become weighed down and neglect your own health and well-being. The burden of care-giving can put you at increased risk for significant health problems and an estimated 30 to 40 percent of dementia caregivers will experience depression, high levels of stress, or burnout. Nearly all Alzheimer’s or dementia caregivers will at some time experience sadness, anxiety, loneliness, and exhaustion. Seeking help and support along the way is not a luxury for caregivers; it’s a necessity.
Many people are uncomfortable talking about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Even doctors sometimes are reluctant to discuss this situation. It is understandable that people are uncomfortable discussing Alzheimer’s or dementia, especially when you see your loved one change with it. It is understandable people do not want to talk about it, especially if you have a loved one who does not even know who you are. It is important to talk about Alzheimer’s or dementia, because not talking about the illness can make the person with Alzheimer’s or dementia, feel even more isolated, sad and frustrated. Caregivers need to talk with others about what they are going through, when caring for a love one with Alzheimer’s or dementia. It is important for a caregivers’ well being to reach out and it does not matter to who the caregiver reaches out to. Whether reaching out to friends and family or through a support group, talking about what you are facing is actually important for your health. In addition, your health is important in taking care of your loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Your loved ones are counting on you and need you and need you to be healthy to take care of them.
The problem for many individuals caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia is acquiring the right tools necessary to care for your loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s. It is essential that you acquire the right tools, because it will help you in reducing stress and frustration. It is important for the care giver to develop good care habits when caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Having the right tools will also assist in the caregiver developing these good care habits, and creating a rewarding experience for the individual with Alzheimer’s or dementia and the person caring for them, whether at home or in a nursing facility.
If your loved one is in a nursing facility, you need to insert yourself into the healthcare team. This can bring you comfort, when your loved one is placed in a facility, because you are not able to care for them at home. This is will bring you comfort because you are still involved in their care and it will reduce the frustration and guilt that is often developed with the placement of a loved one in a facility. In addition, it is important to know what is going on at the facility where it involves your loved one or not. Caring for your loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia may be difficult, but this difficulty can be minimized some if you have the right tools. There are many websites and organizations to help you care for your loved one with Alzheimer’s. There are four at the end of this article you can review. There are many website on information about Alzheimer’s or dementia, just be careful of sites that want you to buy the resources and such. There are also many government sites that are helpful.