Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is an ongoing task that presents a range of challenges and concerns. Providing effective care and support takes a great deal of patience, compassion, and adaptability. Family caregivers are generally an excellent resource for Alzheimer’s patients to help keep up with daily routines ad activities. However, the intensive and consuming nature of caring for someone with dementia can leave family caregivers overwhelmed and burnt out without a support system of their own.
Alzheimer’s Caregiver Tips
Although Alzheimer’s is a progressive illness with no cure, caregivers can offer assistance in a variety of ways to help improve the quality of daily life and manage the symptoms. Some useful caregiver tips for individuals with dementia include:
- Establish practical routines
- Focus on individual needs
- Provide activity options
- Keep instructions simple
- Be aware of daily rhythms
Establish Practical Routines
Creating a consistent routine is a good starting point to help with Alzheimer’s management. Old routines will most likely have to be modified considerably to adapt to the progression of the disease. A good guideline is to keep expectations reasonable and not try to rush through any aspects of the routine as simple tasks may take a bit longer and breaks may be needed.
Focus On Individual Needs
Alzheimer’s affects everyone in a different way. It is important to keep in mind the individual’s current abilities and cognitive capacity, and include tasks and activities that are appropriate. Allow the person to do as much as they are able with minimal assistance to help promote independence.
Provide Activity Options
While structured routines are important, it is also a good idea to provide a selection of activities so Alzheimer’s patients feel like they still have some control over their lives. Provide a few possible options, but not too many, and also be adaptable to opportunities that may come up in the moment.
Keep Instructions Simple
Whatever the chosen task may be, keeping instructions clear and concise is the recommended approach. Activities should also be simple and brief to avoid boredom and distraction.
Be Aware Of Daily Rhythms
Most Alzheimer’s patients have their good times and bad times throughout the day. For example, if the person is more alert in the morning it may be a good time to take care of bathing and personal hygiene tasks when they are more receptive. This also may be a good time for some physical exercise and mentally stimulating activities to get the most focus and participation possible.
Recommended Activities For Alzheimer’s Home Caregivers
There is a wide range of activities that can be beneficial for Alzheimer’s patients to help slow the progression of the disease and enhance daily living. Some good activities for Alzheimer’s caregivers to implement include:
- Word games and crossword puzzles
- Sudoku and card games
- Story telling and singing songs
- Reading or listening to music
- Painting, drawing, arts & crafts
- Cooking and baking
- Tai Chi
- Chair exercises
- Interacting with pets and animals
- Group activities at community centres or adult day care programs
Home Caregivers Alzheimer’s Assistance
Home caregivers can provide much needed support and assistance for family caregivers caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s caregivers are available as often as needed to assist with activities of daily living and to focus on optimizing health.