In many cases the primary Alzheimer’s caregivers are family members who are close to the person with Alzheimer’s. Whether the individual with Alzheimer’s is an older parent, or the wife or husband it will become increasingly apparent that, there are changes taking place.
That will make the dependency of the person with Alzheimer’s, new emotional ground for you to navigate. Understanding and preparing for this issue will help everyone concerned to learn to cope. There will be times that frustration, confusion or even anger make an appearance.
It is essential in matters of long term care that practical issues take the forefront. This will provide a mechanism for coping with the highly emotional aspect of a long term illness. So it follows that one of the groundworks for long term care will be establishing a solid routine for the person with Alzheimer’s. Setting regular meal times, bath times, times for alzheimer’s medication and times for other enjoyable activities help both the person with Alzheimer’s and the Alzheimer’s caregiver.
Creating a calm, safe and if need be quiet environment as well can help the person with Alzheimer’s focus a little better and encourages cooperation. As well,it will become obvious that some tasks are becoming difficult to perform. For example, tying one’s shoes. The Alzheimer’s caregiver can look for a solution and substitute perhaps some slip-ons. Even issues such as having comfortable clothes can sometimes help ease a situation.
As much as possible the Alzheimer’s caregiver will want to project a positive and cheerful attitude. Often, as this disease progresses, the person with Alzheimer’s will become frustrated with their inability to perform even simple tasks. Everyone is benefited if the person with Alzheimer’s is given the secure feeling that there is no pressure or rush. That they are in a safe environment and will be treated with care and dignity.
People with Alzheimer’s may not be aware of their own behavior. The difficulties it causes for others to deal with and adjust to. They will certainly pick up on hearing negative remarks and understand that they are causing problems. This will only add to their anger and frustration at having failed in some way.
When an Alzheimer’s caregiver needs to let out some of their frustration, it is best to seek out good friends and perhaps people in similar situations. People that can really understand and give them the emotional and practical support they need.
It is vitally important, that whoever is the primary caregiver take a break. When they start to feel that matters are taking a toll on their emotional or physical health. This will require finding suitable people who are able to step in from time to time. Making it possible for the Alzheimer’s caregiver can step away for a while.
As well, it is suggested to search out local support groups and there are increasingly more of them. This will help the Alzheimer’s caregiver to give voice to the frustrations and anger in a comfortable environment. Being with others that truly understand what they are going through.
Another source of support and help will be the family doctor. Make the physician aware of the particular circumstances you are facing. He or she will be in a better position to monitor your health, and possible direct you to other avenues of support.
Ultimately there can be no hard and fast rules that apply because it will be different for everybody. And it is good to keep that in mind. Everyone’s circumstances will vary. It is a loving gesture to be ready to care for someone who has a long term illness. Hopefully, with insight, care and planning the Alzheimer’s caregiver, will find the best way to cope with their unique circumstance.