Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease are problems for many American adults. It has been estimated that one third of seniors die with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. Today, in the United States, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death. It is also the only killer in the country’s top ten that cannot be prevented, the progress of the illness cannot be halted and there is no cure. If a loved one has been diagnosed with any form of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, you can find help with Alzheimers care and there are things you can do to help that person.
- Put together a daily routine. One of the most important things you can do for someone who is in any of the dementia stages is organizing a routine they can follow every day. Experts in help with Alzheimers care say that this is a key component in helping people with dementia live better lives. If you are going to a support group for the loved ones of Alzheimer’s, the other people in the group may have ideas and suggestions to help with this. Your loved one’s medical team mat also have suggestions. There may be times of the day that pose more challenges than others so you will be well served by coming up with a plan.
- Draw up a set schedule and stick to it. When people have different types of dementia, it can be very important to have a schedule for things like meals, taking showers or baths, seeing friends and relatives and both getting up in the morning and going to bed at night. This can make a big difference in how people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia enjoy their day. Experts in help with Alzheimers care say that doing things at the same time every day reinforces the person’s sense of familiarity and structure.
- Even if you do not think the person understands, tell them what you are doing. When you open the blinds in the morning, tell them why you are doing that. You can also use visual and audio cues to help them orient themselves to what is going. If you open the blinds at the same time every day, it can help them understand that it is time to get up and get the day started. By the same token, if you play soothing music at the end of the day, it can start them getting ready for bed and to go to sleep. Having a routine will help with that as their body might signal to them that it is time for bed when they may not realize it otherwise.
- Let them do as much for themselves as possible. As Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia progress, people are unable to do more and more things for themselves. This is a big worry for a lot of people. According to Genworth Financial report that 55% of people they surveyed say that their number one fear about needing long term care for Alzheimers patients, or other medical problems, is that they are going to become a burden to their family. For this reason, letting people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia should be given the chance to do whatever they can for themselves. The goal here is not to push them to do things they cannot do but to let them keep doing what they can. They may no longer be able to cook but maybe they can set the table. This will make them feel more like they are doing something.
- Get help when you need it. There are a number of memory care assisted living facilities that may be where your loved one needs to be. Getting professional help with Alzheimers care can make a huge difference in both their quality of life and yours. There will come a time when home care is no longer appropriate. You should work with their medical team to find the right kind of care when they need more than you can do at home. There may be care options for Alzheimers patients that you do not know about.