Alzheimer's disease affects 5.3 million Americans, according to the Alzheimer's Association, and can be very devastating to witness. If one of your loved ones suffers from Alzheimer's, you may not know what to do. Although you can't cure your family member's Alzheimer's, you can make sure he is as comfortable as possible. Here are five helpful tips for caring for an Alzheimer's patient:
A person with Alzheimer's disease has trouble processing information, so giving him too many choices can overwhelm him. That is why you should give your family member as few choices as possible. For instance, when you help him get dressed in the morning, give him a choice between two outfits.
Make the Home Safer
Alzheimer's disease can impair your loved one's judgment and increase his risk of getting hurt. If you make his home safer, you can prevent injuries. For example, you could clear clutter from the floor and get rid of rugs so that your family member does not fall. Also, consider putting locks on cabinets that hold anything that could hurt your loved one, such as matches, knives or medicine.
Establish a Routine
If your loved one suffers from Alzheimer's disease, it is helpful to establish a routine for him. This will make things more predictable and less confusing for your family member. For example, you could have your loved one take a bath when he first wakes up and then go for a walk.
Chances are that your family member will say something that is incorrect at some point. However, trying to correct him is pointless and will just frustrate him further. Instead, try to figure out what your loved one is really saying.
Hire a Home Health Aide
If you do not have the time to always look after a loved one with Alzheimer's disease, think about hiring a home health aide, such as from Neighbors Home Care Services. This person can come to your family member's home and help him with everyday tasks, such as taking medicine, washing the dishes and doing laundry. It will give you a peace of mind that a trained and responsible worker is looking after your loved one.
Having a family member with Alzheimer's disease is not always easy, but you can do things to make the situation a lot better. If you follow these helpful tips, you can take good care of your loved one and feel better about yourself.