With January designated as Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, the elder care community is reaching out to caregivers to lend emotional support and practical guidance. The need within society is great. Alzheimer’s disease touches the lives of over 70,000 people in British Columbia right now. Nationwide, some form of dementia afflicts approximately 564,000 Canadians.
Family members serving as caregivers must cope with their loved one’s behavioural and personality changes. Accepting that these are symptoms of a disease and not the genuine intentions of the person could reduce your emotional turmoil. The following strategies will also help you adapt while improving your loved one’s quality of life.
Because Alzheimer’s patients have trouble understanding their environment or following conversations, you need to keep things simple. Use short sentences with a single subject. Daily routines matter as well. Try to have meals and activities at consistent times. Disruptions to a schedule could cause stress and anxiety in a dementia patient who cannot necessarily process the reason for the change.
Frequently reassure your elder that the environment is safe and that you’re there to take care of things. The confusion caused by brain disease inflicts people with fear, suspicion, and worry. Your comforting reminders could contribute to a sense of security.
Although your natural urge will be to make reasoned arguments during a dispute, understand that the person cannot process the situation in normal terms. You should try to conceal your frustration or anger. Count to ten, breathe deeply, or leave the room for a few minutes if possible to control your temper. When feasible, lean on your sense of humour to recover from difficult situations.
People with Alzheimer’s might pace or be restless. If your loved one paces, clear a path of tripping hazards and give the person good walking shoes. Distractions like singing or dancing might also entertain someone. Including someone in simple chores, like setting a table or folding clothes could keep a person occupied.
Nutrition and Hygiene
As a caregiver, you’ll want to provide good meals and help your elder keep up with washing and grooming. Dementia can cause people to forget about their appearance. By attending to these basic needs, you’ll help the person stay physically healthy and reduce complications that could arise from malnutrition or dehydration.
Even the most devoted caregiver needs help. You do not need to bear your burdens alone. Learn how our Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care program will provide the advice and helping hands that are so necessary as a someone experiences the challenges of dementia.