As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, it takes away the patient ability to manage the daily task gradually. This gradual declining makes the ever safe environment of home a bit critical. This article deals about how to care for an Alzheimer’s patient at home.
How To Care For An Alzheimer’s Patient At Home?
Managing other elderly people is far different from managing an elderly suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. A little bit understanding of the same can make this tedious task easy for both the patient and the family. Here is an important aspect when considering how to care for an Alzheimer’s patient at home. These tips can be of great help to the family and care takers.
Establish a Routine and Stick To It
Plan out the day in such a way that the patient has a daily routine and does not confuse on what task to perform. Planning and having a predictable routine is an important step when you care for an Alzheimer’s patient. Make sure that the tasks less confusing and predictable. Involve the individual in the task so that they don’t forget how to do the task themselves. If you observe some frustration or any behavioral change, try and switch some routines. Changes are a bit confusing and can leave the Alzheimer’s patient confused, which can harm the self-esteem and bring in more stress. So, plan a gradual change and involve them or keep them informed about everything.
Safe Home Environment
As the judgmental capacity and problem-solving skills decline, the risk of injuries increases for an Alzheimer’s patient. When caring for an Alzheimer’s patient at home, it is necessary to provide a safe environment to prevent mishaps and injuries.
- Scattered rugs or extension cords should be avoided as they can lead to falling. Installing handrails or grab bars can help provide support.
- Items like medicine, gum, alcohol, or any toxic cleaning substance should be kept in locked cabinets.
- Automatic electrical appliances which shut off on their own should be used.
- Little pieces of reminders near the gas stove or electric iron to switch them off after use can be put.
Organize the daily tasks in such a way that they become manageable and easy to follow. Various electronic aids such as the mobile phone, alarm clocks, and the timers can be taken as help to do so. Taking help of technology with gadgets and trackers can be of great use when you care for an Alzheimer’s patient at home.
- Keep a bowl to place the keys. Give a set to the trusted neighbors in case the patient forgets.
- Label the cupboards with what is inside them with word or pictures.
- Feed the emergency mobile numbers in their mobile phones and also write them in a diary and keep them near the phone.
- Give a notepad handy to write on it the things to remember, or tasks to do.
Not being able to perform simple task brings in frustration for an Alzheimer’s patient. Always being advised what to do can bother them to a great extent. The role of the family members here actually matters. Little understanding and patience is needed to care for an Alzheimer’s patient at home.
- Limit the choices, or break the choices into smaller steps, so that they are easy to remember and execute on their own. Help them choose the activities which they can easily carry through.
- Use visual cues for them, so that things become easy and fast to recall, instead of telling them each and everything on time. Just like putting up a note or pictures of the activities to perform. This will make them feel more comfortable and give a feeling of independence.
- Let them do the daily chores all by themselves. Let them perform the duties such as setting up the table, daily dressing them self-up, by laying what to wear in order.
- Give fewer options so that there is no confusion. Such as pick out 2 outfits to choose from, ask for options for hot or cold beverages, or can also ask for their suggestion in an outing option (which obviously should not be many).
- Reduce distractions such as switch off the television or the music when having dinner or in any conversation. This helps them focus on one thing.
Give Them Time
Most often people in their old age feel neglected, and if suffering from an illness like Alzheimer’s where life becomes dependent on others gradually, the patient feels lonelier. Spending time with them and being involved with them in the activities of their interest is an important part of their care plan. So, to you care for an Alzheimer’s patient at home, plan your routine and adjust it according to their schedule, to be able to spend some quality time with them.
Make a list of their interests, abilities, and favorite activities. Ask them about to tell the stories about their childhood and then ask them to narrate them to their grandchildren. This makes them feel needed by the family. Alzheimer’s disease progresses gradually, therefore the family members should always be updated on how to manage the new symptoms coming up. This makes it easy to care for an Alzheimer’s patient at home.
- Alzheimer’s Association. (2021). Home Safety for People with Alzheimer’s Disease. [https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving/safety/home-safety]
- Mayo Clinic. (2021). Alzheimer’s: Tips to help you get organized. [https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/caregivers/in-depth/alzheimers/art-20047780]
- Family Caregiver Alliance. (2021). Caregiver’s Guide to Understanding Dementia Behaviors. [https://www.caregiver.org/caregivers-guide-understanding-dementia-behaviors]