More than 16 million individuals in the United States take care of dementia patients, with millions more around the globe. Both living with Alzheimer’s and caring for patients who have Alzheimer’s, or any other form of dementia, is an emotional, draining, and lengthy process. A lack of treatment and cure augments the importance of care in the sustenance of Alzheimer’s patients: a notion which significantly burdens caregivers.
The all-encompassing functional, physical and cognitive needs of an Alzheimer’s patient typically cause health problems like depression, stress, and anxiety in caregivers. Seeing your loved ones lose a sense of the world is hard, and even more challenging is taking care of them in such a grave situation. Therefore, we are here with a comprehensive guide on how to take care of people with dementia, possible activities for Alzheimer’s patients, treatment guidelines, and much more.
What do Alzheimer’s Patients think?
Alzheimer’s disease causes numerous abrupt and unusual changes in the brain, which may cause patients to have hallucinations (hearing, smelling, feeling, or looking at things that are not present), delusions (beliefs with no basis in reality that may seem real), or paranoia (a kind of delusion where a person believes the world to be inherently evil or out to get them).
Although there are no medications to treat Alzheimer’s disease, certain medicines can control such distressing symptoms. It is crucial to consult with a medical specialist before continuing or discontinuing such medicines, as they have strong side effects. You can get immediate medical assistance from experts at SmartClinix by benefiting from their efficient telehealth services available round the clock. Visit their website right now to gain more information!
How to take care of Patients with Alzheimer’s
Individuals with dementia lose the sense of being who they are, which often results in them acting in upsetting, disturbing, and unexpected ways. This can cause frenzy and chaos if not handled aptly, along with a bulk load of emotional distress.
Taking care of Alzheimer’s patients at home is even harder, as the entire burden of sustaining a person falls on a caregiver’s shoulders. However, you can implement some tips and strategies to streamline the caregiving process at home. Let us look at how we can make living with Alzheimer’s patients a less daunting task.
Reducing Frustrations through Alzheimer Care
Picture this: you are unable to make sense of the world around you, unable to remember who you are, unable to remember what you are doing at the location you are at, unable to do simple everyday tasks, and unable to recognize any person standing around you. It sounds like a scary ordeal, right? That is what a dementia patient goes through every day, so it is possible to understand their agitation when minute tasks such as making tea become virtually impossible.
Therefore, the foremost aspect of dementia caregiving is reducing frustrations by streamlining everyday tasks. This can be done by establishing a specific routine with flexibility for spontaneous activities. People with dementia are very much like children, and therefore it is essential to let them carry out their tasks without overburdening them with assistance. Too much help can enhance their dependability and simultaneously reduce their independent abilities to indulge in minor tasks.
Similarly, it is pivotal to deliver clear, simple, and short instructions to them, just as would be given to a child. It is easier for dementia patients to understand one-step communication. Keep the preferences or desires of a patient in view during caregiving. For example, consider making them less frequent if your loved one loathes bath time.
Creating a Safe Environment for Alzheimer Patients
Since people with Alzheimer’s have hampered problem-solving skills and judgment, specific incidents can prove highly injurious and, in some cases, even fatal. That is why it is necessary to create as safe an environment as possible for Alzheimer’s patients. When doing so, keeping in mind that your loved one cannot distinguish harmful from secure provides a clearer perspective into what a safe environment should be like.
Clutter is one of the most disastrous entities for an Alzheimer’s patient. Top-notch Alzheimer’s caregivers remove any sorts of extension cords, rugs, and furniture that can cause falls and install grab handles at potentially dangerous areas. This does not mean you need to clear your house of all potentially harmful objects and live in an empty place. You can put such items in cabinets, drawers, or even specific rooms and use locks to prevent Alzheimer’s patients from getting their hands on them. Possibly harmful items may include toxic cleaning substances, knives, forks, alcohol, medicine, guns, matchsticks, lighters, and tools. Keep a fire extinguisher and a well-kept first aid kit ready to go in case of any emergencies.
Administering Alzheimer Care: Bathroom Safety Tips
Bathrooms can be potentially dangerous places for Alzheimer’s patients, and letting them go in there wholly unsupervised is not the right call. Following are some precautionary safety tips that you can utilize to make bathroom trips safe and sound.
- Make sure your bathroom floor doesn’t have a slippery surface. If it does, install non-skid strips on the floor or get it carpeted.
- Install grab handles near the toilet, bath, shower hose, and even the sink to provide a secondary source of support for dementia patients.
- Set the thermostat to the right temperature yourself and avoid letting Alzheimer’s patients get a hold of it, lest they cause severe burns.
- Use childproof latches on drawers and cabinets with electrical appliances, medicines, or any other products that may prove harmful if ingested. In contrast, remove locks on the bathroom door to prevent Alzheimer’s patients from accidentally locking themselves in. An enclosed space can also trigger claustrophobic tendencies in some patients, and thus a lockless door comes in handy.
- A shower chair, hand-held shower hose, and foam or rubber lid covering a bathtub can also prove helpful for Alzheimer’s patients.
Administering Alzheimer’s Care: Kitchen Safety Tips
Like a bathroom, a kitchen is risky for Alzheimer’s patients due to the numerous exposed and potentially harmful objects. Here is how you can make it a much safer place for Alzheimer’s patients.
- Use childproofing corner guards and edge protectors on sharp shelves to prevent any accidents.
- It is necessary to keep all electronic appliances, notwithstanding their kind or purpose, away from the reach of Alzheimer’s patients.
- Installation of safety knobs on stoves is crucial, as a patient with dementia may turn the knob on and cause catastrophic consequences by forgetting to turn it off.
- Make sure to put any utensils that you would otherwise keep out of the reach of a child in locked cabinets to limit access to them.
- It is wise to disconnect the garbage disposal and remove any pointy, flammable, or seemingly edible (such as artificial fruits) decoration pieces or magnets.
Activities for Alzheimer Patients
When at home, you can engage Alzheimer’s patients with pleasant outdoor activities such as gardening, taking a walk, having a picnic in the backyard, watching dogs play, or taking swings. Certain indoor activities can also keep them entertained, such as listening to their favorite music, completing a puzzle, identifying pictures in their favorite magazine, and reading a book of their liking. Baking, giving them a manicure or a massage, and encouraging them to talk more about their feelings or subjects of interest are also constructive activities for Alzheimer’s patients.