Having a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is scary, no matter the circumstances. The risk of losing them before they’ve actually left this Earth is a reality not many people in this world are ready to face. However, it’s even scarier for the person who’s been diagnosed. Despite the fear and challenges surrounding Alzheimer’s, there are ways that you can help your loved one through this journey and make dealing with this disease more manageable. Today, we’ll examine how you can assist a loved one through the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Ensure that your loved one’s home is prepped and ready for them.
The early stage of Alzheimer’s disease is the perfect time to help your loved one get their home in optimal condition. Keeping their home in good condition is crucial because as the disease progresses, they’ll be able to do less and less over time. Ensuring the house is maintained, and all repairs are made will help take some of the load off of them and make it easier for everyone.
Take a look around the house and take note of everything that needs repairing. The first things to check are the appliances. Your loved one will depend on their appliances to maintain independence for as long as possible. If you notice many appliances in disrepair, find a qualified appliance repair technician, such as this company offering refrigerator repair in Honolulu, HI. A licensed technician can inspect, repair, and maintain any appliances you’ve noted and keep them running smoothly for your loved one.
Understand the disease your loved one is battling to better care for them.
Before you can genuinely care for your loved one, you need to understand the disease itself. If you don’t have a basic understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, it will be more challenging to help your loved one. First, we’ll start with Alzheimer’s vs dementia. The terms Alzheimer’s and dementia are frequently used interchangeably. However, they are not the same thing.
Dementia is the name for a group of symptoms that make it difficult to remember, focus, make decisions, and control emotions. Dementia itself is not actually a disease. Instead, dementia symptoms are caused by another condition, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
On the other hand, Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological brain disorder that causes problems with memory. However, keep in mind that a person can have Alzheimer’s disease without experiencing dementia symptoms.
Simple understandings like what we’ve described above will make all the difference in your ability to help your loved one manage their Alzheimer’s disease. So, do your research, speak to your loved one’s doctors, and stay up-to-date on Alzheimer’s disease to make our caregiving more effective.
Keep these tips in mind when assisting a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.
Our first tip is to keep safety in mind while helping your loved one maintain independence. If there are no immediate safety concerns, encourage your loved one to perform the task alone while providing supervision as necessary.
Next, you should help them avoid stress as much as possible. Prioritize tasks that don’t cause undue stress for your loved one. For example, if you know that going shopping is a frustrating task for your loved one, ask them to organize the grocery list instead while you go shopping.
Another tip to remember is to make positive assumptions. You should assume that your loved one can complete the task they’re doing independently. If you notice them becoming frustrated, try to determine why before intervening.
Creating a help signal is another handy tip. Identify a phrase that you can use to confirm whether your loved one is comfortable receiving your help. For example, you could use a phrase like, “Is there anything I can do?” and the signal can be a nod from your loved one. This tactic is helpful when your loved one has trouble remembering specific words or names.
You can help your loved one manage their Alzheimer’s.
Remember the information and tips we’ve mentioned when helping your loved one. The last thing to remember is to take care of yourself too. You can’t pour from an empty cup.