Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) at home is a difficult task and can become overwhelming at times. Each day brings new challenges as the caregiver copes with changing levels of ability and new patterns of behaviour.
1. Communicate clearly
- one point at a time
- use simple words
- minimize distractions and noise – such as television or radio – to help the person focus on what you are saying.
2. Dealing with personal hygiene
- Respect that bathing may be scary and uncomfortable for some persons with AD.
- be gentle and respectful.
- prepare bath in advance.
- develop a routine.
- limit number of outfits to choose from
- choose clothing that is comfortable, easy to get manner on and off.
- make mealtimes an opportunity for social interaction.
- allow limited number of meal choices
- make healthy snacks.
- choose dishes and eating utensils that promote independence.
5. Engage and encourage
- get the person involved in meaningful activities.
- make the activities simple so that the person will succeed at it.
- watch for signs of agitation and frustration with an activity. Gently help or distract them.
- praise the person for doing the activity.
- encourage physical activities. Spend time outside as much as possible.
6. Consider safety
- keeping the person safe is the most important aspect of care giving.
- keep a recent picture of the person.
- notify neighbours in advance that the person has a tendency to wander.
- keep doors locked.
7. Do not argue
8. Keep it quiet
- Avoid crowds and lots of noise.
- Reduce conflicting noises.
9. Slow down
- Provide care in a relaxed manner.
- The person with AD will notice your emotional state, body language and tone of voice.
11. Talk with others