As of 2015, over five million adults were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Symptoms of this disease can range from confusion, depression, delusions, rambling speech, loss of memory, and severe moods swings. Caring for a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's will cause a stressful strain in your relationship; however, there are several helpful and productive ways you can handle the different situations that will arise during this troubling time.
Implement A Schedule
Creating a schedule is crucial when caring for an Alzheimer's patient. It takes the guesswork out of the day and makes it less stressful to face. If you establish a consistent and concise routine with your loved one, they will know exactly what to expect every hour of every day. The more predictable the day is, the less stress your loved one will feel. If your loved one is well acquainted with what the day will bring, they will be easier to work with and will be less prone to severe mood swings.
Keep in mind that absolutely everything needs to be one a consistent schedule. Bath times, meals, and even times they can watch television must all become a part of the schedule. You must also be consistent. If your loved one is used to bedtime being at 8:00 every night, it needs to stay that way every night. If your loved one with Alzheimer's is thrown off schedule, they will become confused and scared and their mood swings and confusion will flare.
You must label everything so that your loved one knows where everything goes. This will help them remember where to put certain things. Kitchen drawers, cupboards and even their dresses should be labeled properly so that they can be self-sufficient. Alzheimer's patients can become very irate if they cannot remember something they should know, like where the spoons and forks go in their kitchen. Labeling things will add a sense of normalcy to their every day lives and will help to cut back on erratic behaviors.
Having too many options can be overstimulating for someone suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Do not give your loved one more than two options when setting out their clothes for the day. When you are preparing their lunch, only give them a couple options to choose from. Having more than two options will create confusion and they will have an emotional breakdown just thinking about it.
Also limit things that are overly distracting to them. If you are trying to hold a conversation with your loved one, turn off the radio or television. Bring your loved one into a room that doesn't have too many knick knacks and things that could take their attention away from the conversation. The less distraction, the less stimulation, which is much better for your loved one.
Alzheimer's disease is very common in adults over sixty-five. Every day, more and more people are finding themselves caring for their loved ones who have been diagnosed with this disease. By following the guidelines provided above, you will be able to provide the best love and care that your loved one needs.
If you need help caring for your loved one, click here for more information about alzheimer's care facilities.
Sometimes things don't work out as we have planned them to. Instead of being able to take care of your aging parent in your home for several years, it may prove to be more difficult than you first thought. I brought my mother to live with my family hoping to enjoy her final years with her, but it didn't work out well for any of us. I wasn't able to care for her the way that she deserved to be cared for. Our blog will provide you with information about making the decision to move your loved one into a nursing home.