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Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s

February 15, 2016

Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s

Back in November of 2015 we wrote a blog on what you can do to help prevent Alzheimer’s, which you can check out by clicking HERE! Today we’re looking at ways that you can help a loved one deal with their diagnosis.

Caring for a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Dementia can pose many challenges, you may not be the one who has been diagnosed but you also have to live with it.

Here are a few of the challenges that you could be facing and some of our recommendations on how to deal with them:

Communication

Communication can be one of the biggest barriers between you and your loved one who has been diagnosed. This is something you will have to learn to get better at. Good communication can be key, you’re body language can speak louder than any words you say. Try to always be positive, use humour when possible and avoid getting into arguments – even when you know you’re right, just listen to them.

Before speaking to them, make sure you have their attention, close curtains & doors, turn off the T.V. and address them by their name. Try to ask easy, answerable questions.

Often, people with Alzheimer’s can be confused or easily agitated, try comforting them and reassuring them. Show affection, your kind and positive attitude can reflect onto them.

Incontinence

This is a very common occurrence amongst people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The loss of bladder or bowel control usually occurs later on in the progression of the disease. Signs can be placed around the home, to direct the person to the bathroom, in case they have forgotten where it is located.

Another idea would be to make up a schedule of when the person should have an intake of fluid and to remind them of when they might need to use the bathroom. A supply of incontinence pads can be purchased from your local pharmacy and you may consider getting a commode for their bedroom.

Change in Personality

Alzheimer’s causes brain cells to die, which can cause a change in mood or personality of the person living with Alzheimer’s. They can often seem disinterested in things they once enjoyed or can sometimes become aggressive or abusive. They may start hiding things or believe other people are taking things and act paranoid.

We believe that the most difficult thing about your loved ones change in personality is realising that you need to change too. You cannot expect your loved one to change back, you will need to learn to adapt to their changes.

What can you do? Start by keeping things simple, try making up a daily routine that’s easy for them to follow. Reassure them that they are safe and that you are there to help them.

If they’re being aggressive, try to distract them – music or dancing have often been known to work in many cases. You could also try completing a task together, cleaning the house or setting the table can take their mind off of whatever was bothering them.

Sleeplessness & Wandering

It’s believed that restlessness and agitation can become a lot more common later on in the day for people with Alzheimer’s. It can cause sleeping problems and issues with people wandering and wanting to leave the house. So there are steps you should take to try and prevent this from happening.

Plan more activities throughout the day, especially physical exercise. This is where your daily schedule can come in handy too, so that you can plan different activities for each day and following a daily routine may allow for a more restful sleep. We would recommend having nightlights throughout the house, also you could try placing a curtain above any entrances/exist to your house, keeping exists and entrances covered can deter them from trying to leave the home.

These are just a few tips that we believe could help you. If you have any questions or concerns you should always consult with a doctor.

If you have any questions for us about the type of care we can provide, then please don’t hesitate to call us now on 01-8338000 or click HERE to be directed to the Alzheimer’s & Dementia care page on our website.

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Call us now on +353 1 833 8000 or 1890 947 222 to find out more about our services or to speak to one of our dedicated Client Care Nurse Managers who are on hand to work with you towards developing a unique and individualised care plan, tailored to manage your requirements.