Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that impairs memory and cognitive function.
For families and caregivers, providing Alzheimer’s home care can be both a compassionate commitment and a formidable challenge.
About Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older adults. It’s characterized by the deterioration of brain cells, which leads to a decline in these faculties:
- Social skills
As the disease advances, you may notice these changes in behavior in your senior loved ones which significantly impact daily living.
- Memory loss
- Difficulty communicating
Why is home care important for Alzheimer’s patients?
Alzheimer’s home care offers the advantage of familiar surroundings, which can play a critical role in managing the disease. Home care allows your loved one to maintain a sense of normalcy and continuity, which can help preserve cognitive functions longer.
Personalized care at home can also be tailored to the individual’s specific needs and preferences, which provides a level of comfort that may not be achievable in institutional settings.
Home care best practices to follow for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease
Providing Alzheimer’s home care requires patience, understanding and knowledge of the condition.
Here are six of the best practices that you can follow.
1. Educate yourself about the disease.
Understanding the stages of Alzheimer’s disease can help you anticipate and prepare for the challenges ahead. Take the time to learn about the following:
- Treatment options
- Progression of the disease
This knowledge will not only prepare you for the caregiving journey but also enable you to provide better support for your loved one.
2. Engage your loved one with meaningful activities.
Caring tips for Alzheimer’s at home often include setting up a routine that incorporates their interests and hobbies. This can help maintain their skills and provide a sense of accomplishment.
This includes simple activities, such as:
- Listening to music
- Looking through photo albums
3. Understand your loved one’s experience.
Learning how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease also involves empathy and understanding, since this disease can alter your loved one’s perception and behavior.
Acknowledge your loved one’s feelings, especially if they’re experiencing the following:
Being patient and showing empathy can go a long way in making them feel safe and understood.
4. Take care of financial, legal and long-term care planning issues.
Early in the disease progression, it’s wise to address financial, legal and long-term care planning. Addressing these issues early can ease stress and uncertainty for everyone involved. Emotionally challenging as it is, this process involves setting up the following:
- Power of attorney
- A living will
- Discussion regarding care preferences
5. Establish regular communication with physicians.
Regular communication with healthcare professionals is vital in Alzheimer’s home care since they can help your loved one in terms of the following:
- Providing insights into the latest treatments
- Offering advice on caregiving strategies
- Helping monitor your loved one’s health
Being proactive in medical appointments and discussions sees to it that you’re providing your loved one with the best care possible.
6. Recognize your limitations as a caregiver.
Caregiver burnout is a real and common occurrence. Recognizing when you need a break and seeking help when necessary are not signs of weakness but of strength and commitment to the well-being of both you and your loved one.
Support comes in various forms. When things become too heavy for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to any of the following:
- Respite care
- Support groups
- Other family members
Home care for your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is a journey that can be as challenging as it is rewarding. By following these best practices, you can provide compassionate and effective care for them.
If you’re a primary caregiver, remember that you’re not alone. Support is available anytime you need it.