Watching a loved one go through a significant change due to a health condition is never easy. Alzheimer’s, however, can be one of the most difficult transitions to witness, as sometimes it means facing the reality of a loved one no longer knowing themselves or even knowing who you are.
While dementia and Alzheimer’s can be extremely difficult for all involved, this guide can help with some suggestions on how you can help your loved one.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects the mind in which a person suffering can lose their memory as well as endure significant changes to their behaviour and thought pattern. It’s also a progressive disease, which means it can worsen over time, and especially with those in a higher age bracket.
What Can You Expect with Alzheimer’s?
If your loved one has recently been diagnosed, you may be wondering where to go from here and what behavioral changes to expect. It’s always better to be prepared, so you also know how to best help them.
With the progression of Alzheimer’s, you can expect:
- Initial difficulty remembering names, certain information or where they have placed particular objects
2. Mood changes, such as becoming withdrawn or impatient
3. Becoming more forgetful, such as being unable to remember big life
4. Becoming confused and vulnerable
5. Difficulty communicating
6. Requiring 24/7 care during the most severe stages
How to Help a Loved One with Alzheimer’s
Stick to a Routine
If your loved one is already confused and forgetful, you don’t want to add to that by constantly being spontaneous or changing plans. Having a strict daily routine in place, or at least a routine for when you see them can be extremely helpful.
Speak Simply and Plainly
In-depth conversations and lots of questions at once can only risk confusing your loved one even more. When interacting, keep everything simple and at a comfortable pace. Ask questions one at a time and focus on clear communication.
Seek Professional Care
Those with moderate and severe Alzheimer’s will need professional support around the clock. It’s therefore a good idea to help seek out the right assisted living facility for your loved one. Services like Caring Advisor make it easy to search and compare, with options such as Auberge of Lake Zurich for those who need help with memory care.
There’s no doubt that dealing with a memory-impaired loved one can become extremely frustrating and upsetting. You may find yourself wanting to argue your point or losing your patience with a loved one who is becoming difficult or perhaps even argumentative in return.
Keeping calm is key, although it’s not always easy. Try to find a calming technique that works for you. This could be meditation, counting to ten, excusing yourself from the room for five minutes or any other technique you find which helps.
Explore Different Pastimes
Finding entertainment you can enjoy with your loved one is important. Music, dancing and other pastimes can be rewarding for those with Alzheimer’s. Particular songs or pastimes may even help to ignite a particular memory in them.
Find something you can share and enjoy together.