Basic Strategies For Caring For A Relative With Alzheimer’s

Having a family member with Alzheimer’s is an ordeal. In fact, taking care of it implies a radical change in our life. This is when a new process begins in which it is vital that the whole family stay together.

Not only the well-being of the patient should be prioritized, but also the emotional strength of the caregivers. In addition, they must learn to focus day-to-day in such a way as to ensure a good quality of life, both for the dependent and for the carers.

We must also take into account that, today, longevity, according to this study, is higher. Thus, it is common for the elderly between the ages of 70 and 80 to be more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Basic strategies for caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s

In this research presented by the Higher Institute of Medical Sciences of Havana, it is shown that Alzheimer’s dementia constitutes a health and social problem of great magnitude, which goes beyond the person who suffers it because it has a significant impact on the family .

For this reason, below, we will share 6 basic strategies to care for a family member with Alzheimer’s.

1. Routines must be established with the family member with Alzheimer’sfamily member with Alzheimer's

If it is not possible for you to take your family member to a day center where they can receive stimulation programs, it will always be appropriate to dedicate a minimum time of 1 hour a day to do small exercises with them:

  • People with Alzheimer’s react very well to music. Hence, it is convenient to put your favorite songs, or animate them with melodies.
  • Have them read the newspaper, remember the day and year they are in, tell you who the president is, what season they are in. Or that, through photographs, they tell you who is who.
  • Offer them manual tasks, such as knitting, building, puzzles. Also, you can use suitable stimulation programs that exist on the Internet to “stabilize” their cognitive processes such as attention or memory.
  • Depending on their degree of mobility, it will always be important that they stay physically active.
  • Among its particularities, it ensures that they walk an average of 10 or 15 minutes a day in controlled spaces where there are no risks. Finally, make them move their legs, hands …

    4. Regular checkups for the family member with Alzheimer’s

    It is vital that you establish regular check- ups with your doctor to see not only how the disease progresses. But to control aspects as basic as urine infections, or even simple dehydration, so common in the elderly in summer times.

    We must bear in mind that realities as common as these  tend to cause quite serious problems for the dependent person. Remember that it is also important to ensure that the elderly take their medication on time. Supervise him in person, since he may not be taking it and we are not realizing it.

    5. The power of emotions

    family member with Alzheimer's

    A family member with Alzheimer’s will not remember your name, or if you are their daughter or sister. However, you will always appreciate that touch or that hug. That is going to be your language on a day-to-day basis.

    Do not be scared if at any given moment he reacts badly and is aggressive. Your emotions are probably changeable now. But with a safe environment, with daily support and with warm and constant emotional stimuli, her condition will be more stable.

    As you can see, we are talking at all times about the needs of the dependent person, but you should not ignore that you also need support and help. 

    Never put aside your social relationships and your hobbies, try above all to distribute responsibilities with other people, that way, you will not feel saturated.

    6. Help yourself from other professionals

    Nothing happens if you help yourself from other professionals on a day-to-day basis to take care of your relative. Or if you take him to a day center, or let a therapist come to your house. Not for this you love them less or are a bad caregiver, on the contrary.

    Sometimes we need the advice of professionals, because we are not experts in this disease, and because we cannot offer such multidisciplinary care.

    A person with Alzheimer’s needs to know how to move it if it no longer has autonomy, it needs to be cleaned every day, to take care of its diet, to stimulate it cognitively and to give it the most appropriate medication.

    We will offer you all our love and care, but don’t feel bad if, at any given moment, you need “more help”. Anything to improve the quality of life of our family member will be fine.

    Caring for the family member with Alzheimer’s: final thoughts

    Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disorder that is constantly on the rise, this is due to the increase in life expectancy. Therefore, knowing the phases of the disease, as well as the necessary care for the family member who suffers from it, is essential to improve their quality of life and the rapid progression of the disease.

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