Important & Helpful Tips for Alzheimer’s In Home Care-Part 2

In part one of this three part series I focused on what Alzheimer’s disease is and some of the shocking facts regarding how pervasive Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia have become. I also provided a list of tips and tactics to assist both family caregivers and professional caregivers with in home care for people with Alzheimer’s. (If you want to check out part one, click here: https://seniorcarecompanions.com/important-helpful-tips-for-alzheimers-in-home-care-part-1/) In this part (Part two) I am going to continue the list of tips and tactics focused on activities of daily living for Alzheimer’s in home care. Alzheimer’s which is a form of Dementia is a disease that often changes in its symptoms and its effects on the person’s functional abilities. Families often say, “What used to work is not working” and vice versa. When the person with dementia refuses to do something, remember that their response could change at any given time and if you are getting a “no” response, be patient and remember to consider that you may have to approach it from a different angle especially when a no response will potentially endanger their safety. There are times when family members and or caregivers have no choice but to take the lead. Below are more tips and tactics for Alzheimer’s in home care.

Communication-Being able to communicate with people who have Alzheimer’s or another form of Dementia is very important. The person with dementia has limited vocabulary and attention span due to the disease. When preparing to speak with someone and have a more focused conversation, first, turn off the TV and or any other potential distractions. Next, get the person’s attention, call them by their name and make sure they’re looking and listening to you. Speak directly and simply by using simple words and sentences and talking in a gently and calm tone of voice. Remember, even though you are speaking simply and directly, make sure to treat the person like an adult, be patient and allow time for a response. Be careful not to interrupt and avoid talking in a condescending tone.

Eating- People with Alzheimer’s may have limited appetites as well as short attention spans. Plan on serving smaller portions of food and providing snacks throughout the day. Limit distractions by ensuring a quiet and calm atmosphere. Help to make drinking as easy as possible for the person by using straws and or cups with lids. If the person has trouble with utensils than try serving things like chicken fingers/nuggets, mozzarella sticks and other similar finger foods. Try using bowls instead of plates to encourage independent eating. Also, make sure to schedule regular dentist appointments to help maintain healthy teeth. If the person’s teeth decay and or get cavities than its going to impair their ability to eat properly. 

Dressing- For those with dementia, getting dressed presents a series of challenges, from choosing what to wear, to figuring out how to properly take things off and put other things on, to working with buttons and zippers. In order to help simplify the process, lay out clothing items in the order they need to be put on. Be there with them to provide clear, step by step instructions. Comfortable and convenient clothing is ideal for people with Dementia. Look for clothing with elastic waists instead of having to use a belt and use clothing and footwear that uses Velcro instead of buttons and zippers. 

Bathing- Dementia can make bathing a scary and confusing experience. Planning in advance can help make bath time better for both of you. Try gathering everything you’re going to need ahead of time, including a towel and change of clothes. Get the water going and set to the right temperature. Making the bathroom warm can help because getting undressed when the person is cold can create problems. Always make sure safety is at the forefront of your mind, grab bars, shower bench or chair, non-skid bath mats and use a handheld showerhead. Also, never leave the person alone in the shower. To make the person more comfortable, tell them what you are going to do, step by step and try to let them do as much as possible. Replacing some showers with sponge baths can be effective depending on how active the person is.

Activities & Exercises- Incorporating physical and mental stimulation into daily routines is important and is helpful for both the person with Dementia and the caregiver. Remember to take things slowly which will help avoid frustration and overexertion. If possible, find activities that you’ll both like whether it’s simply taking a nice and refreshing walk or a game night make sure the activities are simple and enjoyable. Remember to take advantage of organizations like the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center (ADRC) and the Alzheimer’s Association who have organized programs for people dealing with Dementia in one form or another and provide a good source for socialization with others.

Incontinence- As the disease progresses, many people with dementia begin to experience incontinence. Sometimes incontinence is due to physical illness, so be sure to discuss it with the person’s doctor. One of the best things you can do is to develop a regular schedule as opposed to waiting for them to ask. Look for signs of discomfort and in order to help prevent accidents, avoid fluids after a set time at night and if you plan to take the person out, make sure you know where the restrooms are. Accidents do occur so when they do, stay calm and minimize embarrassment by taking care of it as quickly as possible.

Sleeping- Getting enough sleep is important in helping to ensure maximum mental functioning. Try to keep evenings as peaceful as possible, dim the lights, avoid stimulating activities like watching TV and limit caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea and soda. Relaxing music can be a great way to help them relax and set the tone for bed. Make sure to set a consistent bedtime to help develop their internal clock. If possible, keep that time within 15-20 mins of the same time each night. It’s also important to make sure the person gets enough physical activity everyday because it will help them to have deeper and more restorative sleep every night.

In part three of this series I am going to cover more tips and tactics for Alzheimer’s in home care as well as driving and Alzheimer’s and what you need to know so stay tuned for part three. If you or anyone you know needs some help with in home care, feel free to reach out to SeniorCare Companions at 631-581-9000 as well as the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center (ADRC) at 631-580-5100. SeniorCare Companions was recently awarded the 2019 Best of Islip Award for outstanding service.

Seniors need attention and love during the holidays, just like everyone else. Unfortunately, some people forget to visit their loved ones during the busiest times of the year. 

Finding ways to take care of seniors during the holidays is extremely important. Doing so involves helping them with their physical, mental, and emotional needs. Let’s look into the ways you can take care of seniors during the holiday season.

Hire a Service

Some seniors might not be able to help themselves with different tasks such as:

  • Mobility to go places
  • Remembering important details and schedules
  • Assistance with motor skills

Whatever you may need, we here at Senior Care Companions can help. We offer various services to help seniors each day. You can find assistants to help them 24/7, or just a few hours of the day.

 

While you should help seniors when you can, you may need professional help. After all, you can’t be at their sides 24/7, so see if you can find a reliable service to look after them.

Plan Fun Activities

Seniors can face boredom during the holidays, especially if they don’t have people to spend time with them. Coming up with fun activities you can do with one another is important to their mental and emotional wellbeing. Potential activities include:

  • Sit down and play board games together
  • Enjoy holiday activities like eating or watching movies
  • Go for a walk through the park

Focus your attention on letting them have fun. Doing so can help you take care of them emotionally and mentally. For example, they could feel happy after the activities or thankful you thought of them.

Seniors can potentially become lonely and depressed during the holidays, so take the time to plan fun activities for them. Doing so can help them overcome the mundane and boring moments in their lives.

Prepare Them Ahead of Time

Some seniors may like to stick with their schedules. If you know seniors like this, you should prepare them before any activities. Some seniors may have health problems, so make sure you accommodate them. 

You can do this in multiple ways such as:

  • Ensure they have a way to safely reach the areas if they have to use wheelchairs
  • Give them specific food if they have dietary restrictions
  • Show them pictures of who they’ll see at the event if they suffer from memory loss

You don’t want to worry them, so make sure you take some time to talk and prepare. This can help them understand the plan and feel comfortable during the activity.

Visit Them Regularly

Often people forget to help seniors with their mental and emotional health during the holidays. If you want to help them during the holidays, just visiting them is an easy way to make their day.

Visiting seniors can help them out in many ways:

  • Allows them to talk with someone
  • Shows them others care about their well-being
  • Help them with tasks or anything else they need

When you visit a senior, you can help them feel happy. You can also help them avoid feelings of loneliness or boredom if they have to live away from home. Even if you have seniors in your life who live on their own, you should visit them during the holidays.

Seniors recognize the time you take to visit them, so they’ll appreciate your efforts.

Ask Them What They Want

Sometimes, people try to make decisions for seniors, so you should communicate when possible. If you communicate with them, you can avoid some problems.

  • Ensure they do something they like and avoid boredom
  • Meet their personal needs and keep them safe
  • Learn more about them and their interests

These points can help you find an activity that will make the seniors happy. You don’t want to drag them to an activity they don’t like, so you need to communicate with them. That way, you can find something you’ll both enjoy. 

 

Some people forget to remember each senior as a person. Make sure you show these seniors you care by asking them what they want. As you do so, you can form stronger relationships with them. 

Final Comments

The holidays give you a great opportunity to show your love to the seniors in your life. Whether you want to help relatives in your family or the local seniors, you can make the holidays better for them.

If you want to help these seniors out, try out the ideas above. If you need assistance in taking care of the seniors in your life, reach out to Senior Care Companions.

Have any Questions? Just give us a call, we would love to help in any way.

“Quality Care You Can Trust – Since 2004”

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