Back to Basics: Caring for Your loved one with Alzheimer's

Caring for a loved one at home who is suffering from Alzheimer is a difficult task that can become frustrating at times.  Every day new challenges surface because as time passes the Caregiver has to adapt to new changes as the condition progresses. Studies show that a caregiver is prone to suffer from depression and other dangerous conditions, especially if they don’t get the proper support from their family, friends and community.

One of the main challenges that caregivers have to go through is dealing with the difficult behavior of the person they are caring for.  Daily living tasks such as bathing, getting dressed or even eating can become a true hassle for the person suffering from the condition and also for their caregiver. Coming up with a structured plan to carry out each of the daily activities can make the job easier for caregivers. Strategies to handle difficult behavior are convenient to set in motion.

In these scenarios, there will be a lot of trial and error. You will discover that there are strategies that work and others that do not.  Each patient with Alzheimer is different and will respond in a different way to. Also, each person will change differently throughout the course of the condition. Always try your very best and never forget to take your well-deserved and much needed breaks.

Learning that a loved one has Alzheimer can be very stressing, scary and frustrating. As you begin to assess the situation and how things will rapidly begin to evolve, the following suggestions will come in handy:

Ask the doctor anything and everything about the condition. Do not hold back on any doubts and do not trust any unworthy source. Ask about possible treatments that can help alleviate symptoms and manage behavioral issues.

Get in contact with all the different organizations online and in your community related to Caregiving, Dementia and Alzheimer’s. They will have a lot of information that will help you though the different stages of the disease. In the community, many of these institutions teach caregivers how to care for their loved ones, how to manage and resolve problems, and how to acquire administrative abilities to manage any given situation.

Do not keep your feelings to yourself. Look for support groups where you can share your feelings and concerns. The members in these types of groups often have good ideas and resources that have worked out for them based on personal experiences as caregivers. Support groups online will allow you to get advice and encouragement from other caregivers without having to leave the house.

Analyze your day and figure out if a routine can be implemented so that daily tasks can be handled with less stress and difficulty.  Try to determine if there are moments during the day where your loved one is less confused and can cooperate much more with the daily task.  Remember that the way your loved one behaves can change on a daily basis so you need to keep in mind that space for flexibility and adaptation is a must.

Consider respite care! These is a great alternative for you to get a rest day and alleviate the tough daily demands that come with the job of taking care of someone with Alzheimer. While your rest, your loved will be in good hands and you will be recharging your energy for the next few days of caregiving.

Start planning for the future. Doing this will help you be prepared for the different stages of the condition that sooner or later will appear. These include the organization of financial and legal documents, investigation of long term facility care, making sure you know what services are covered by your insurance or not.