It’s indeed selfish to think only of the challenges faced by the patient. The person taking care of his/her patient or family member has much more responsibilities to shoulder. This is why trainings are provided in hospitals to help deal with Alzheimer’s patients in the correct way.
Here were have thrown light on the attributes of a caregiver’s guide as directed by NIH National Institute on Aging.
Understanding the disease
When your doctor breaks the news that your loved one is having Alzheimer’s disease then certainly it’s not easy to accept immediately. So take the following actions:
- Educate yourself about the disease
- Ask your doctor if you want any information
- Visit support groups and organization that can help you cope with the situation
- Learn the tips and tricks to deal with your loved one
- Consult day care facilities for a helping hand
Dealing with behavioural changes
Several behavioural and emotional changes are exhibited by patients; some of which are depression, wandering, yelling, misunderstanding, delusions, insomnia, confusion, worrying, etc. The toughest challenge faced by caregivers is how to tackle the person or how to deal with these changes.
The first advice is- never ague with Alzheimer’s patients. You may leave him/her alone for a few minutes and observe if he/she can calm down. Patience is something that you will have to show immensely. So, under any circumstance do not throw temper on your patient. You can always ask him if he is sad or worried, etc.
If the aggression is severe then you must call for emergency help.
How to communicate?
It can happen many times that your loved one might not understand what you speak and tend to forget way too soon.
Use eye contact, facial expressions and communicate in simple language. You can discuss, ask questions like “how are you feeling”, etc. without arousing complicated issues.
You can also write down in a paper
Everyday activities and personal care
At a certain stage, Alzheimer’s patients need assistance or become completely dependent on the caregiver. However, if he/she is still capable of performing self care activities without or with assistance then you must prepare a routine at home.
Bathing, toilet visit, dressing, eating, taking medicines, going out or exercise at home and other activities must be scheduled so that they do not forget or get confused what to do when. Stick to the instructions given by your doctor.
Ensuring safety at home and outside
If your loved one is at initial stage of Alzheimer’s then he/she can step out alone. However, you have to ensure that he knows where he is going and certainly his way back home. So make sure you hand him over mobile phone along with handwritten important contact numbers and address.
At home you have to remember the following things:
- Do not loiter things here and there. Keep your home organised
- Keep all other things locked that is of no use to the patient- e.g. kitchen tools, papers/documents, medicines, cupboards, cleaning goods, etc.
- Take away driving keys if he/she is not fit for driving anymore
- Make sure that alarm systems are properly working
- Show your loved one how to use the phone and make sure you keep his items of use in places where he can remember every day.
If you are travelling away then you can admit your loved one to a day care centre or hire a trained caregiver at home.
Medical care and support
It’s important to call your doctor whenever you are in doubt or you need help. Remember the appointment dates at hospital and make sure you get your patient checked as per the scheduled date.
Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: October 28, 2014