5 Ways to Help Care for a Patient with Alzheimer's

Helping to take care of a patient with Alzheimer's is not an easy task. Alzheimer's is a disease that causes the person who suffers to lose memory progressively. First, he will begin to forget little things, until the time comes when he does not recognize the faces of his own family.

When a person suffers from Alzheimer's, it is not only she who is affected. The family suffers, sometimes, rejection, bad words and the painful reality that the person in front of her does not know who she is. For this reason, some special steps are necessary to care for a patient with Alzheimer's.

1. Direct and Simple Communication

Communicating with a person who has Alzheimer's can be quite a challenge. The person may be distracted, they may not understand what you are saying and you may have to repeat yourself again. To put in simple terms, it is necessary to be patient and follow some of the recommendations that we provide below:

  • Use simple and short phrases.
  • Do not scream or exasperate yourself.
  • Communicate with tranquility.
  • Look the person in the eyes at all times and pay attention.
  • Be patient, because maybe you will take your time to respond.
  • Do not hurry the person for understanding.
  • If you want to communicate something, but you do not understand it, make an effort to do it.

2. Assist the Person but not in Excess

Many people who have to take care of a patient with Alzheimer's begin to treat the patient as if it were a baby. In fact, they communicate with him as if he were and even speak in front of him about him as if he were not there. This is not good for the person.

Although it is difficult for the person with Alzheimer's to communicate, dress or bathe, we must do everything possible to have their own independence in choosing their clothes, showering, etc. It does not matter if they take long. There is no reason to be in a hurry. Remember that we must have patience.

3. Establish Routines

Establishing routines can greatly help a person suffering from Alzheimer's. For example, that shower time be every day at the same time. If it is possible, we choose that moment of the day when we know the person is calm. Same thing with eating or going to bed.

When establishing routines is conditioned to an automation of a series of acts that will allow the person with Alzheimer to enjoy greater independence to know what he has to do. This will make them feel more secure and prevent her from becoming disoriented.

4. Help with Cognitive Stimulation

For a person with Alzheimer's to enjoy a better quality of life, it is important that we help her to keep her mind active, learning new things and performing exercises that stimulate her cognitive capacity. To achieve this, it is important that we do some activities.

Taking our time to do crossword puzzles, sudoku, to read with them or perform dictations will be very important. Cognitive stimulation not only improves the quality of life, but slows the progression of the disease, minimizes the stress they may feel and enhances autonomy.

5. Pay Attention to Non-Verbal Communication

At the beginning we had mentioned that, by helping to take care of a patient with Alzheimer's, we might encounter difficulties when trying to interact with them. They may take a long time to respond, not do it in a coherent way or not understand what we are saying to you the first time.

However, we have to pay close attention to non-verbal communication. Smiles, displays of affection, lots of physical contact such as hugs or kisses.  This will greatly help the person with Alzheimer feel loved and cared for.

If you stress, lose patience or not pay enough attention to their needs, the person with Alzheimer's will not improve. They will be stressed, and look to get isolated even more.  They will feel alone and very misunderstood.

How would we like to be treated? Would we feel good to see that nobody gives us quality time? Empathizing will always help us see the situation differently and treat a person with Alzheimer's as they truly deserve.