3 Tips For Caring For A Loved One With Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease is a devastating illness that affects the brain and its function. The hallmark of the illness is it causes those with it to have memory loss and cognitive regression that gets worse over time. People with Alzheimer's eventually need a full-time caregiver to watch over them and help them with daily tasks. Once the disease progresses to a certain point, some can no longer cook or even bathe themselves. Here are three tips for those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease.
1. Get educated about the disease and its effects on your loved one.
One of the biggest issues people caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's encounters is not fully understanding what the disease is and how it affects those with it. Everyone thinks that the disease just means their loved one will have difficulty remembering things, but that's just one part of it. The disease causes cognitive regression, which means it can eventually lead your loved one to need a caregiver to do most things for them.
If you are going to care for your loved one with Alzheimer's, you need to get educated about the disease. There are a number of ways you can do this. You can find a lot of valuable information online. There may even be opportunities to attend caregiver education seminars in your local area. Finding out all that you can about this disease, and what it is doing to your loved one, will help you be a better caregiver for them.
2. Make sure they are getting proper nutrition.
Another part of Alzheimer's Disease is that it can cause major changes in your loved one's eating habits. This can happen for a multitude of reasons. A lot of times, someone with Alzheimer's will simply forget to eat. Others will refuse to eat because they are scared. Some people with Alzheimer's even experience changes to their sense of taste, which then will cause them to not want to eat much.
Since the disease causes cognitive regression, your loved one can also forget how to eat. For those people, their caregiver usually has to feed them and tell them when to chew and swallow their food.
Because nutrition is an important part of being healthy, if you notice that your loved one isn't eating very much, you need to discuss with their doctor various ways to get them proper nutrition.
3. Make sure the home is safe for your loved one.
If you had children, you likely remember how you had to make your home "baby-proof." Well, you kind of have to do the same thing when you have a loved one with Alzheimer's Disease. People with the disease can cause fires from putting things on the stove or in the oven and forgetting about them. They can also hurt themselves if they leave the house alone and can't remember how to get back.
You need to make changes to the home to make it safe for them. You will need to lock up any medications, cleaning chemicals, and guns so your loved one won't hurt themselves. You also need to install safety latches on cabinets to keep them from getting out things to cook or getting knives out and cutting themselves. There are a lot of ways you can make your home safe for your loved one with Alzheimer's Disease that can be found online.
To learn more, contact an Alzheimer's care facility like Bethesda Health Care Facility.