Tips for people who are looking after someone with Alzheimer's

Alzheimer’s is an unforgiving disease that can be the cause of a great deal of distress to both the person suffering from it, and those around them, their family and friends. Taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be incredibly stressful, particularly when that person you love is just not the person you remember them being. It’s also incredibly tough seeing someone you care deeply about suffer, yet Alzheimer’s can leave people scared and frustrated which is very difficult to deal with as a caregiver. Here are 6 tips to help you cope with the difficulties of being a carer for someone with Alzheimer’s…

 

1. Don’t remind them every time they forget something

It can be frustrating when the person asks the same question over and over again, or you tell them something and they totally forget what you said, but there really is no point in reminding them that you told them that yesterday or that they already know something. It will only make the patient feel more stressed.

 

2. Learn the art of patience

Alzheimer’s is such a frustrating disease for everyone involved and it can cause you to feel incredibly stressed. Being patient is so important, and it’s vital not to get cross when that frustration feels overwhelming. If it all gets too much, try to get some time out to regroup and calm your mind.

 

3. Have simple conversations

You’ll likely find that there are some topics your loved one will more easily engage in. Perhaps it’s about an event in the past or something basic such as the weather. When you find these topics, you should embrace them. Does it matter if you have the same conversation a dozen times? Not at all if you and your loved one can connect for a few moments.

 

4, Discover what calms the patient

When an Alzheimer’s patient gets confused it can be incredibly distressing for them and this can come out in a variety of ways such as tearfulness, fear or anger. It’s important to learn what calms them. It could be you holding their hand, a hug, time spent petting a family pet. Whatever works to lower anxiety levels will be an invaluable tool for you.

 

5. Let them make as many decisions as possible

When someone has spent their life being their own person, making their own choice and doing everything for themselves, it can be very difficult when suddenly someone is making choices for them. So try to enable them to make as many choices as they want as long as there is no risk of danger. If they want to take a walk even though it’s chilly, perhaps it would be beneficial. If they decide that they want a meal that sounds a little crazy to you, why not simply let them have it?

 

6. Remember that you’re not alone

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can be very isolating but there are so many people with this disease you’ll find groups both online and in your own town where you can talk to other people in the same situation. Not only is this reassuring to talk to people who know what you’re going through, you can also share tips and advice on caring for someone with this disease.