When you are caring for a loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease you will notice that there are a lot of ups and downs; good days and bad days. If something related to communication, incontinence or sleep problems has become very frustrating for you, perhaps one of the following 10 tips can help you out:
- It’s very common that the person with Alzheimer’s will struggle to find a word or they will have a difficult time communicating their thoughts. You can gently try to suggest the word she or he is looking for.
- Even if the person is very hard to understand, try to be open to his or her concerns, treating them seriously even if the reason for their concern seems fictional.
- When you are communicating with your loved one, try to remain patient, calm and gentle despite the frustration. Keeping a calm attitude will help them to remain calm. Frame your questions or instructions in as positive a light as you can.
- In the mid to later progressions of the disease, your loved one will likely develop incontinence. Don’t wait for her or him to ask you to go; it’s better to establish a routine for going to the bathroom and then try to adhere to it as much as possible. For example, every 3 hours or so.
- Keep on the lookout for any signs that your loved one may need to go to the bathroom, for example pulling at their clothes, or a sense of restlessness. When you see this, respond quickly.
- Accidents will occur and when they do, try to be understanding and reassuring. They may be upset. If you are able to track the time when accidents occur, it can help you to plan on avoiding them.
- Helping to avoid nighttime accidents may take some work on your part – limiting drinks with caffeine in them the night before, stop giving water 1-2 hours before bed and encouraging emptying their bladder right before bed can help a lot. If none of these strategies are working, consider an adult diaper for night time.
- As a caregiver you are probably exhausted when night time approaches. However the person with Alzheimer’s may have an incredibly difficult time at night starting at dinner time. You can help avoid many bedtime problems by limiting day time napping. Don’t let your loved one become over-tired though; this can also lead to restlessness.
- Limit caffeine
- Try to keep bed time on a schedule at the same time each night. A bedtime routine may also help.
The caregivers at Great Care are available to talk with you and your family about all of your senior care needs. Great Care is an elder care agency providing quality and affordable caregiver services in Broadripple, IN and the surrounding areas. Call (317) 595-9933 for more information.