The weight of being an Alzheimer’s caregiver is starting to make you crack. The complaints from your loved one, the flood of responsibilities, the utter lack of appreciation you receive – it’s all becoming too much. When you reach this point, it can feel like there’s no way to make things easier. Between dealing with the disease, trying to keep the senior as happy as possible, and looking after yourself, the day-to-day tasks of being an Alzheimer’s caregiver can leave you at the end of your rope. 

At that point, it becomes more important than ever to implement some foundational but greatly impactful strategies that will transform your caregiving experience throughout your journey. 

The following suggestions are simple, but will make your role as an Alzheimer’s caregiver easier:

  1. Encourage independence – It’s tempting to overstep the boundaries as an Alzheimer’s caregiver, but try to allow a loved one with Alzheimer’s to complete the tasks they are still able to manage before you step in, even it if means the tasks take extra time to complete.
  2. Establish a routine – Stability is so beneficial to seniors with Alzheimer’s. Create a schedule so that each daily activity happens at the same time every day, which will also help your work as a caregiver be more predictable and manageable.
  3. Simplicity is key – Whether it’s choosing their daily activities or which pants they want to wear on any given day, be direct and minimal with the options you give seniors with Alzheimer’s so they are not overwhelmed.  This can help limit frustrations for everyone.
  4. Avoid arguing – As Alzheimer’s progresses, the aging adult may no longer be able to use the same logic or judgment. Instead of arguing, try to redirect the topic of conversation or the action in question.
  5. It’s Ok to play along – Seniors with Alzheimer’s may forget a loved one has passed away or talk about their teenage years as if they are present day. Don’t cause yourself or the senior stress by pushing back. Go with the flow, and then redirect when possible. 
  6. Watch for signs of a UTI – Seniors with Alzheimer’s may not always have the typical physical symptoms of a UTI. Keep an eye out for signs such as confusion, dizziness, or hallucinations, and consult a doctor if you suspect a UTI.
  7. You don’t have to do this alone! – Being an Alzheimer’s caregiver can be an exhausting role at times. Take time for yourself by getting help from a loved one or a trusted home care agency, such as TheKey of Raleigh. 

What if I’m Not the Primary Alzheimer’s Caregiver?

Even if you aren’t the primary caregiver to someone with Alzheimer’s, but want to be involved, there are ways you can help. 

If you are supporting a family dealing with Alzheimer’s, start by researching the disease. There’s a lot to know, and being informed can help you better understand the disease’s progression and how it affects behavior. You might offer a reprieve to the family caregiver by spending time with the senior while the caregiver takes time away to recharge. Sometimes, however, the best way to help a family caregiver is simply by listening and allowing them to express their frustrations and concerns.

As you begin to offer help, be flexible and patient, and remember that the caregiver may not take the help you offer right away. They may appreciate it more as their journey with Alzheimer’s caregiving progresses. In the meantime, try to stay in touch as much as possible for opportunities to help. You might offer to complete some tasks on the family’s to-do list or invite the family caregiver to leisure activities while a trusted caregiver from TheKey takes over for a few hours.

 

If you need help caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, TheKey is here for you! We know from personal experience that being an Alzheimer’s caregiver can be a tough job, but our expert caregivers can help with home care in Raleigh and the surrounding areas. To learn more, contact us online or at 919-436-1871!