9 Useful Tips for Taking Care of a Parent With Alzheimer’s at Home
By Space Coast Daily // September 7, 2021
Unfortunately, a lot of older people end up developing Alzheimer’s disease in their lives, which can completely change the family dynamic. In their situation, loved ones and children of the elder are left with two options – placing them in a retirement home or taking care of the elder on their own.
If they chose to take care of them at home, there are some things that they need to take note of before jumping into such a task. Here are 9 useful tips for taking care of a parent with Alzheimer’s at home!
1. Do research
Doing research is a must before you jump into such a serious job. Being a carer is not easy, so truly understanding the disease is essential in order to take care of your loved one properly!
People who live with it are quite complex so the caring process can vary from person to person and depending on the level of Alzheimer’s you are dealing with. Talking to doctors and always striving to gather as much knowledge is a must, it will help you cope with the situation better and make things much easier!
2. Create a daily routine
Taking care of your ill parent is sometimes a full-time job – especially if they are incapable of taking care of themselves in any way. This can be tricky, especially if you have a job, but also if you need to go out of town for something – leaving your parents alone is not an option.
Thankfully there are plenty of skilled nursing services in St. Louis that can help out on a daily basis, and replace you. This way you can continue your regular life whilst still taking care of your loved one at home!
3. Learn how to communicate
Communication is crucial in these cases – it won’t be the same, especially if the person suffers from a bad case of Alzheimer’s but establishing a good connection is key. Being polite and calm is always the best approach, be patient and allow them to react in their own way! Also speaking clearly enough can help in the overall process of caring for the person with such a disease!
4. Daily activities
Depending on the severity of the disease, sometimes you simply can’t let your loved one roam around freely. Adding certain daily activities is a must to fill out their schedules, but not only that – adding activities can help them fall asleep faster later on. Some people with Alzheimer’s have problems falling asleep, and you don’t want them to get up and roam around the home in the middle of the night.
Adding light exercises and trying to activate them earlier in the day, that way they can get tired and sleepy later on. Never push them to do things they do not want to do, try different things and see what they enjoy the most!
Dressing falls under the daily schedule – making sure that the person gets dressed each day at the same time can help with further establishing a solid daily routine! This can also be a fun activity with them – let them choose the outfit if they want to and assist them in any way you can. This can be an endearing exchange, as you guide them through their wardrobe and talk about their favorite pieces. On other days they might not feel up for this, so always be mindful of their moods when doing things like this!
In most cases, a person who has Alzheimer’s needs assistance when it comes to grooming and bathing. This can be a bit uncomfortable on both ends, but understand that it’s normal and a necessity that will help your parents a lot! With that being said, the person with Alzheimer’s might feel uncomfortable and at times disapprove of your assistance – taking a calm approach is a must. Do this until you’ve reached an agreement and never push your loved one too much, always be gentle with them!
Some people with Alzheimer’s can’t comprehend how much they ate, and this can lead to overeating or not eating at all. Curating a well-balanced diet that caters to their needs is a must, but also always checking if your loved one finished the food – you need to keep track of them. This way they can eat three big meals a day and small snacks in between if they are still hungry!
8. Home safety
Home safety is extremely important for someone who has this kind of disease – creating a safe space for them is essential. Using a similar method as you would for baby-proofing your home, make sure that all harmful chemicals are locked in a cabinet far from reach. People with dementia can accidentally use a product for the wrong purpose and cause harm to themselves.
The same goes for sharp objects, knives, scissors, and anything that can easily hurt the elder. Also, locks on both doors and windows are almost necessary, especially if the person is prone to wandering and leaving the home!
9. Additional things to remember
There are a lot of things a carer needs to consider before jumping into such a job! If the person in question suffers from additional illnesses that need to be taken into consideration as well. It all depends on the severity of the situation and if you can actually handle taking care of your loved one.
In some cases, people with Alzheimer’s can suffer from hallucinations and/or delusions that can lead them into acting up or not reciprocating how you want them to. People who want to take care of their parents who suffer from this type of disease, need to be ready for everything in order to take care of them properly!
At the end of the day, with a lot of research and a strict plan of action, everything will be okay. It’s definitely a big change, especially when you have to look at your loved one go through something like that, but giving them a loving home is extremely important. So as long as you follow the protocols and basic safety measures around your home, there shouldn’t be any problem taking care of your loved one with Alzheimer’s!