If you’re caring for someone who’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you already know that, as the disease develops, their ability to deal with regular, day-to-day tasks will gradually decline. Though there’s sadly no way to reverse this process, there are active steps you can take to make it easier on your loved one.
Many people with Alzheimer’s tend to become frustrated as simple tasks become more challenging. Here are a few practical ways to ease that frustration.
Get into a routine
A clear routine will make the days less confusing for someone with Alzheimer’s. Though certain functions of their brain may be fading, people with degenerative diseases can still get into the swing of routines, and this can be very beneficial to them.
Many home care services prioritise this to aid the well-being of those they care for.
Take things slowly
As normal tasks become more difficult, caregivers should expect almost everything in an established routine to take longer than usual.
Allow the person suffering from Alzheimer’s to take frequent breaks in between given tasks and leave enough time for care so that there’s no need to rush them.
Get them involved
It’s best to let your loved ones take care of as many things as possible for themselves, with minimal assistance.
For example, someone in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s can often set the table with the help of visual cues, or dress by themselves if they have their clothes laid out in a certain order.
Give them choices
Though you don’t want to overwhelm someone suffering from Alzheimer’s, you should make a point to offer them choices every day.
This provides an opportunity for low-level cognitive exercise, which can mitigate their feeling of losing control. For example, you could offer two different outfits for them to choose from, ask if they’d like tea or coffee and let them choose between two activities.
Cut out distractions
Though mental stimulation can be good for someone suffering from a degenerative disease, again, you don’t want to overwhelm them.
When they need to focus on something, such as eating a meal or having a conversation with you, try to minimise distractions. Turn off the TV or radio, put your phone on silent, and cut off anything else that could make the situation more confusing. It may sound simple, but this can make day-to-day tasks much easier for those suffering from Alzheimer’s.