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Memory Care | Information and Solutions for Memory Loss

How to Care for Someone with Alzheimer's

How to Care for Someone with Alzheimer's

Knowing how to care for someone with Alzhiemer's can be difficult for caregivers because every day brings different challenges. Alzheimer's disease is not something that most people are familiar with, unless they have known someone with the disease, or took the initiative to learn more about it.

So how do you care for someone with Alzheimer's disease? Every day is a new learning experience, and it is important to learn what you can about the disease. Alzheimer's is a brain disease that causes nerve cells in the brain to die.

People with Alzheimer's disease become forgetful, are easily confused, and have a hard time remembering things. There are three stages to Alzheimer's disease including mild, moderate, and severe.

Mild Alzheimer's Disease

During the mild stages of Alzheimer's, you will notice small changes in personality, and some loss of memory. Alzheimer's patients have difficulty remembering recent events, such as birthday parties, holiday parties, etc. You may also notice difficulty planning grocery lists, or finding personal belongings around the house.

Moderate Alzheimer's Disease

During the moderate stages of Alzheimer's, confusion and loss of memory are more recognizable. Alzheimer's patients have difficulty following instructions, planning, and organizing. They may need assistance bathing, and getting dressed. During moderate stages, they may start having problems with bladder control.

Severe Alzheimer's Disease

During the severe stages of Alzheimer's, patients usually need help with all of their daily needs, such as standing up, sitting down, walking, eating, bathing, getting dressed, etc. They may not be able to talk at all anymore, or recognize family members. Some may refuse to eat, or have difficulty swallowing food, and water.

How to Care for Someone with Alzheimer's

1) Talk to your family, and help educate them about Alzheimer's disease. Share what information you know, and encourage your family to ask questions. If you don't know the answers, research them. Have an open line of communication, and support honesty.

2) Try to avoid correcting the person with Alzheimer's if they forget something, or make a mistake.

3) Plan fun activities with the person, such as family reunions, days at the park, etc.

4) Find a good support system, such as family, pastor, counselor, etc.

5) Exercise with the person, take them on walks, dance to some music, etc.

6) Encourage healthy, nutritious meals and prepare the meals yourself, or use a senior food delivery service.

7) Ask the person to help you with chores, and thank them for helping. Use positive reinforcements, and make them feel as if their help is needed, and valued.

8) Have the person help you in the garden, such as water plants, talk about the plants, and plant flowers and vegetables.

9) Many people with Alzheimer's enjoy pets. Pets provide social interaction, and often enhance mood levels in people with Alzheimer's disease.

Bathing an Alzheimer's patient

It can often times be difficult to bathe an Alzheimer's patient. How would you feel if a family member or stranger (caregiver) asked you to take off your clothes in front of them. Then proceeded to force you into a scary and sometimes dangerous position of being wet and naked in front of them. 

Many Alzheimer's patients have this exact feeling everytime someone trys to help them bathe. Which is why many people have made the investment in a walk-in bathtub that not only helps to clean most of the body, but also sets the stage for a relaxing bathing experience.  

Some walk-in bathtubs actually have a built in bidet to assist in cleaning the private parts, so there's no embarrasment by caregivers or the patient.