Alzheimer's is a debilitating disease that will change not just the life of the patient but the lives of the patient's loved ones. If you will be acting as a caretaker for someone with Alzheimer's, you are going to have to prepare for some adjustments. Here are some tips on how you can keep your Alzheimer's patient focused and get through the day.
A Routine is a Good Idea
If you will be taking care of tasks like bathing or getting dressed, it's a good idea to establish a routine. Identify a period of time during the day when your patient is in a good mood or more relaxed, like right after they wake up. Get them into a habit of getting dressed or bathing or anything else you need to do at the same time every day. Even if the patient is forgetful about other things, they may still remember well enough to realize that a certain time of day is when they need to handle specific tasks, and this can make your job easier.
Offer Specific Choices
A person with Alzheimer's may jump from subject to subject or have a difficult time making a decision on their own. It can be helpful as a caretaker to limit the Alzheimer patient's choices while still giving them specific options. Do you want to wear the red shirt or the blue shirt? Do you want your eggs scrambled or over easy? Offer two specific choices and keep the patient focused on those two options until they make a decision.
Speak in Short Sentences
If you need your patient to complete a specific task, you can help guide them through it one step at a time. Get up from the chair. Move to your left. Put your hand on the railing. Take one step up the stairs. Take another step. Shorten your sentences and instructions as much as necessary so the patient can simply stay focused on the very next action.
Get Professional Help
If you want some assistance with treating your loved one or you would like to learn some techniques to assist with your loved one's memory, you might want to seek out a local Alzheimer's memory care facility. Such a facility may offer outpatient treatment that allows you to take your loved one home or you might have the option to check your patient into the facility if necessary.