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Tip of the Day

Advice from Alzheimer's Caregivers

November 1

  • Patience and lots of love is the key to caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease even though we feel frustrated at times. The thing to remember is that a person with the Alzheimer's disease is truly unaware of asking the same question over and over, I know from personal experience by taking care of my mother. Good luck to all of the people taking care of a loved one with the disease. — Maya S.

November 2

  • They make a wireless door alarm (like those door bells that chime whenever a door opens.) We put one of those on both the front and back doors at my grandparent's house. If grandma wasn't in the same room as grandpa, she would know if he opened the door. By doing that she didn't have to worry about him getting out and her not knowing. — Sarah M.

November 3

  • Concentrate on keeping a person with Alzheimer's happy, or at least content, in their routines and in doing what stimulates them. My wife is in late stage Alzheimer's. She can no longer put three words together. However, with 5 days of day care and her activities and routines at home, she has a substantial quality of life. When she is content, my work is at its easiest. — Stephen H.

November 4

  • Do not forget to be concerned about the safety of pets around an Alzheimer's patient. — Stephen H.

November 5

  • Adult daycare can be very helpful. I strongly suggest everyone look for it. — Will N.

November 6

  • I'm a person who is studying Alzheimer's. I've visited many websites that have been a great help to me and others. I've been educating people. Alzheimer's still seems to be "in the closet." That's wrong. It needs to be out in the open. When a loved one is diagnosed, take care of the legal and financial matters. That way, your loved one can tell you what they want via an advance directive. Its important that this be done so there is no worry about it in the future. You should not feel any guilt when it is time to put a loved one in a good facility when you can no longer take care of your loved one. You can visit your loved one every day. I hope this helps. — Michael H.

November 7

  • Engage in creative activities, favorite pastimes and hobbies; play games and solve puzzles. Make sure the activities are simple to avoid frustration and try to establish a routine for doing them daily. (From BrightFocus Living with Alzheimer's section)

November 8

  • Patience and knowing go far. Stick with what the person with Alzheimer's disease truly enjoys. — Bill R.

November 9

  • A doll helped my nan sleep at night, and stay in her bed. Dolls are said to have a calming effect on those with dementia. — Vicky G.

November 10

  • My mother feels fear around sundown, so I try to distract her with music or a chat, and then I tell her what follows: dinner, close the doors, time to go to bed. It is important to try to respect the schedule. If I repeat exactly the same words every day, it lowers her anxiety level. — Laura R.

November 11

  • Use music and the TV to help cope with sundowning. — Will N.

November 12

  • Give lots of patience and LOVE. — Maria S.

November 13

  • If someone with Alzheimer's becomes agitated, walk away and give them time to forget about being upset. Then go back with a different approach. Never argue with them. Use comforting words. — Heather L.

November 14

  • Unfortunately you can love, be patient, positive, not argue, and everything else, and agitation can still happen. Unless your loved one is in a position where their agitation may hurt you or themselves, sometimes it's best to walk away for a few minutes and give them time to settle. Then come back with a different approach. It's like picking your battles. Some battles are just are not worth fighting. But remember that if that behavior becomes frequent and aggressive it's time to have a discussion with the doctor. — Debra H.

November 15

  • Take deep breaths and try to accept their perception. There is no winning an argument, so don't go there. Keep routine safe and when aggression is too much, get help! — Kathy R.

November 16

  • I urge caregivers to be sure to take care of themselves, get rest and take breaks from the day to day. — Anonymous

November 17

  • There is no longer such a thing as "routine." — Susie T.

November 18

  • Establish a good support network. — Ben K.

November 19

  • Don't get so wrapped up in taking care of a loved one that you forget to take care of yourself. — Shenel.

November 20

  • Don't argue. Divert their attention to settle them down. Do not try to reason with them. As the old saying goes: "Once an adult and twice a child" — Marquita D.

November 21

  • Don't try to fight with their delusions. One time, my father told me that his parents (long since dead) had been to visit. I was explaining that his parents were dead, when a nurse approached and told me it would be easier on him to say, "That's nice that they visited." The nurse said he wouldn't remember what I said anyway. That advice really helped. — Barbara R.

November 22

  • Have a good support team and lots of patience. — Roni K.

November 23

  • Move into their world to try to communicate or understand. — Rita D.

November 24

  • Don't be afraid to talk about it or be ashamed to ask for help. You will need it because you cannot do it alone, no matter how strong you think you are. Alzheimer's will test your every ounce of patience. It will make you value time and appreciate life. — Marquita D.

November 25

  • Don't argue or disagree with a person who has Alzheimer's disease. Do not agitate them. — Regina B.

November 26

  • Choose kindness over being right. — Gail B.

November 27

  • Always leave them with good news and happy feelings. If you leave them with bad news, they'll feel sad but won't remember why. Always try and conserve their dignity. — Valerie M.

November 28

  • Learn when to pick your battles. It is better to walk away and just let something go instead of fighting about it. Just love them and hold them. — Connie D.

November 29

  • Redirect someone with Alzheimer's disease rather than saying no, and never take anything they say or do personally. Seek support! — Cheryl G.

November 30

  • Remember the person deep inside of them and love/accept them for the person they are now. — Moira C.

Last Review: 04/15/14


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