Home Care for Alzheimer's Patients
Caring for an Alzheimers patient is a difficult ordeal. It's made more difficult when you choose to care for him or her at home. Alzheimers is a progressive disease in which behavior will constantly change and managing daily activities -- talking, eating, entertaining -- will get more and more challenging.
It is important to find activities that the Alzheimer's patient can do and be interested in. First, don't set your expectations too high. For an activity, build on existing skills rather than teaching new skills, and start on something simple that you can break down into small, achievable steps. Communicate effectively by using simple words and avoid exterior distractions, such as the television or radio.
During mealtimes, keep a quiet, calm atmosphere and provide limited choices to eliminate confusion. You may want to use straws or cups and offer finger foods to remove the chance of the patient struggling with utensils. Encourage daily exercise to help the patient sleep at night. Set a consistent bedtime routine.
When speaking, choose simple words and short sentences and use a gentle, calm tone of voice.
Take advantage of adult day services, which provide various activities for the person with Alzheimer's as well as an opportunity for caregivers to gain temporary relief. Transportation and meals often are provided at day services.