6 Ways to Look After a Parent with Alzheimer's

Paula Green
By Paula GreenJanuary 16, 2015

When it comes to our parents, we are usually very sensible. But, it can take a lot of patience and flexibility to get rid of frustration, especially when it comes to understanding that your loved ones are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Nevertheless, there are some helpful ways to approach this difficult subject. Learn more about ways to take care of your parents with dementia.

Ways that You Can Help Ease Dementia Caregiving

Although it can be hard — especially as the disease progresses — to help look after your parents with dementia, there are things you can do to help ease the frustration and increase your patience while caring for them.

This includes:

  1. Scheduling. In order to keep your parents or loved ones safe, you have to establish a routine that will make your ordinary day more predictable, stable and less stressful. Schedule doctor appointments, bath times and dining for the part of the day your loved ones seem to be calmer. Notice when they seem to become more agreeable, whether it’s the start of the day or the end of the day. This routine can help your parents become familiar with things that should be done in a proper way.
  2. “Cues.” Explain regular, everyday things. For example, if you name a drawer for what is inside, your parent will most likely put things in the correct place you suggested. Do the same thing with your kitchen and bath things. This will ease things for both you and your parents.
  3. Remove danger. Remove things that could endanger loved ones. For instance: knives, car keys and matches. Remember, as a caregiver, you are responsible for little things that could lead to serious problems.
  4. Use technology. Good thing, we are living in the 21st century and have access to great technologies. If you are away, you can set a mobile monitoring service that will track a GPS location and monitor calls and messages. That way, you can look after your parents from your computer and ease any worries you may have while you are away from them. This technology is appropriate for those in the early-mid stage of the disease. You can also help take care of your parents with a home monitoring app that will give you access to your home and inform you of any unusual power supply activity.
  5. Create limitations. Provide limited choices in clothes, for instance, like setting out two outfits instead of a wardrobe. Also limit your instructions to one step at a time. If you are having a conversation, limit surrounding distractions like the TV and radio. It will help your loved ones stay focused on the conversation.
  6. Hospitals. Unfortunately, there are times when we cannot cope with the disease on our own. As frustrating as it may seem, in these moments, you should ask for help. Hiring a nurse is an option for those who need assistance for a couple of hours a day, as it can be expensive. There are also hospitals and senior complexes that will look after your parents while you are on a business trip. You have to adjust to the idea that these places might be a place for your parents if no one is around. In order to find one, you should first consult with your parent’s doctor. Remember to always look for reviews as many people are dealing with the same thing you are and are glad to help.

Do you have any other tips to add to this article about looking after parents with dementia? Share your suggestions in the comments below.

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Paula Green

Paula Green

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