Having a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be a difficult process, especially if you are the primary caregiver. Your loved one likely requires constant support, and having to know what to do and how can make you feel almost as confused as your loved one. But there are a few ways to improve the quality of Alzheimer’s care you provide:
Use schedules to your advantage. With careful scheduling, you can plan your loved one’s days so that they are as comfortable as possible. The more consistent a routine you can establish, the less confusion they will experience. In addition, if they have to do something complicated or deviate from the routine, schedule that during the time of day they are the most alert and agreeable.
Don’t turn the schedule into a crutch, however. If you rely too much on the schedule, it can actually make things more difficult for your loved one. Things may often take longer than scheduled, and that’s perfectly fine. The important part is that a routine exists, not that each day is perfectly orchestrated down to the minute.
Remain adaptable. Alzheimer’s disease progresses as time goes on, so the capabilities your loved one has now may not be there in a few years. In addition, some days are better than others. Sometimes your loved one will be worse than their usual, and sometimes they will be better. The more flexible and adaptable you are, the better care you will be able to offer them.
Take care of yourself. Just as you are responsible for caring for your loved one, you are also responsible for caring for yourself. There is no shame in needing a break or asking for help. Don’t forget that you can’t help them if you aren’t at your best.
The most important part of being an Alzheimer’s caregiver is the love and care needed to support your loved one in this difficult time in their life. As long as you try your best and are open to improvement, you will do a good job.
Contact us for more information on Alzheimer’s care.