Being a caretaker for a patient suffering from Alzheimer’s could be a daunting task. It requires both flexibility and a great level of patience. As a caretaker, you must know that with a progress of the disease, the patient’s ability to manage daily tasks will become greatly hindered.
Consider the following tips for efficient management and care of patients with suffering from any form of dementia.
- Reducing the frustration
As simple regular tasks become extremely difficult, the patient with dementia often become extremely frustrated. In order to reduce the frustration of the patient, and of yourself, make a wise schedule. Establishing a routine usually removes the confusion for the patients. This is because individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are able to follow a routine to a good extent. Scheduling things such as appointments and physical exercises during the hours when the patient is mostly fresh is an example of scheduling wisely. Do, however, keep some flexibility in there for spontaneity.
Also, give the individual enough time for frequent breaks in between. Schedule tasks in a way so as to avoid hurrying.
Apart from that, do remember to fully involve the person in their tasks through the least amount of help. For instance, make use of visual cues that will help the individual to get dressed on their own. Laying down the clothes in the correct order, for instance, is a good visual cue.
People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are most often capable of understanding simple and clear single instructions. So do provide them with instructions that are simple, and easy to act on. Moreover, also consider providing them a number of choices. Keep the options limited in this case so as to avoid confusion. For instance, allow them to make a choice between two outfits or whether they would like to have a tea or a fresh juice.
Another useful tip to reduce frustration among Alzheimer’s patients is to keep the distractions low. For instance, turn the television off during tasks such as communication or eating. This will help the patients in retaining their focus.
- Allow flexibility in your routine
Over a period of time, it is likely that the person suffering from dementia will become more and more dependent on you. Allowing a great amount of flexibility in your routine, so as to adapt to changes and unexpected events as needed can help in reducing the frustration. This way, you will be able to look after the individual in an efficient manner.
- Creating a safe environment
Alzheimer’s disease is known to impair the problem-solving ability, along with the judgment of the individual that it affects. This is why patients suffering from this disease are always at the risk of an injury.
Make sure to install hand-rails and bars for support in areas such as stairs so as to prevent falls. Apart from that, also install locks in cabinets that contain potentially dangerous substances/materials such as knives, sharp utensils, medicines, rat poison, and other toxic chemicals.
Also, keep a check on the temperature of hot beverages and try to keep the temperature as low as possible in order to avoid burns.