When it comes to caring for an individual with Alzheimer’s disease, many times some of the biggest challenges come with helping your loved one do the simplest tasks. It is often the daily grind of getting through the littlest things that challenges caregivers the most. However, as a loving caregiver it is important that you are there for these daily tasks that often cause Alzheimer’s patients a great deal of frustration. Here are some simple tips for handling some of the most common simple daily tasks that many Alzheimer’s patients struggle with.
Establish a Routine. Make a routine that will keep the average day predictable, and therefore less confusing. If you have to schedule new activities during the day, put them during a time where your loved one tends to be most calm.
Reduce Distractions When Possible. Try to keep things simple. Reduce distractions, particularly when trying to have a conversation with your loved one to help them stay focused.
Avoid Large Crowds. Big crowds and large social gatherings can be really overwhelming for any Alzheimer’s patients. Work to avoid these situations when possible. Keep social gatherings small and avoid public places when you know they will be busy.
Give Yourself Extra Time. Things will take longer when helping your loved one with their daily task. However, if you are in a hurry it is easy to get frustrated which can frighten or overwhelm your loved one. Schedule everything to take longer than you expect.
Keep Your Loved One Involved, But Make It Easy. Don’t just make decisions for your loved one, keep them involved as much as possible with decisions that impact them. However, a great way to keep this manageable and less overwhelming is to limit their choices. Instead of letting them choose anywhere they want to eat, give them two of their favorite restaurants to choose from.
Leave Notes. Whether the notes indicate what drawer napkins are in or which room is the bathroom, little sticky notes around their living area that lets your loved one know where important things are is a great way to keep them less confused and provide them with the simple reminders the often need.
Be Flexible. As your loved one begins to change and their ability to function slowly starts to decline, you need to be willing to be flexible. Switch things up, including your routine and theirs, as needed to make the routine work with their specific state.
Lock Away Dangerous Items. For their safety and your peace of mind, make sure to lock away items that can be dangerous to your loved one or that may confuse them and agitate them. This includes medicines, alcohol, sharp objects and toxic cleaning solutions.
Look Out For Fall Hazards. Falling can not only hurt an individual with Alzheimer’s physically but it can be emotionally traumatizing as well. Help be their eyes and ears and look out for things that can cause falls such as extension cords and rugs.
As a caregiver, it is important that you take advantage of anything that you can do in order to improve your ability to help your loved one. Many times, just supporting loved one with Alzheimer’s and being there to help with some of their most basic daily tasks is just what they need to make every day more enjoyable.