Getting diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia can be a complete and total shock for individuals and families. After the initial despair wears off, most people look forward to getting back to their normal lives as much as possible. The family members of those diagnosed often become the primary caregiver and take over the day-to-day chores and tasks for their loved one. While some things will never be the same, a caregiver can take extra steps to assure their loved one’s life can go forward. If you are looking for ways to take the best care of someone, review these tips for living with Alzheimer’s.
6 Tips for Caregivers
- Schedule Wisely: As things become more confusing, a consistent daily routine can eliminate the feeling of agitation. If there are times of the day your loved one is more agreeable, schedule appointments or unpleasant tasks during that time.
- Take Your Time: As the Alzheimer’s disease progresses, everyday tasks may take longer than usual. To avoid a stressful situation, allow more time to complete tasks and to get ready.
- Involve Your Loved One: As a caregiver, it may be tempting to completely take over everything and leave nothing for your loved one to do. If they can still get dressed or manage their schedule by themselves let them do so; allow them as much autonomy as you can before the disease progresses.
- Limit Choices: While options may sound like a nice thing to have, for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia many extra choices can be overwhelming. Instead of laying out their entire closet, set out two outfits for them to pick to avoid agitation.
- Provide Simple Instructions: If you ask your loved one to do something, make sure what you’re asking isn’t overwhelming and won’t lead to unnecessary confusion. Take it one step at a time and don’t be frustrated if you have to repeat yourself.
- Reduce Distractions: Keep your loved one focused and on-task by turning off the TV or radio; they may be able to focus on conversations or what they’re working on without extra stimulants.
A caregiver has a difficult job when taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia. To make the situation better for everyone, these 6 daily tips can keep everyone happy and focused as much as possible.
It can also be beneficial for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia to track their memory and cognitive retention by taking daily tests from MemTrax. These tests will help you see how well you are retaining information and if your disease is progressing rapidly.
MemTrax is a screening test for the detection of learning and short-term memory issues, particularly the type of memory problems that arise with aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. MemTrax was founded by Dr. Wes Ashford, who has been developing the memory testing science behind MemTrax since 1985. Dr. Ashford graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1970. At UCLA (1970 – 1985), he attained an M.D. (1974) and Ph.D. (1984). He trained in psychiatry (1975 – 1979) and was a founding member of the Neurobehavior Clinic and the first Chief Resident and Associate Director (1979 – 1980) on the Geriatric Psychiatry in-patient unit. The MemTrax test is quick, easy and can be administered on the MemTrax website in less than three minutes. www.memtrax.com