Alzheimer’s Care: 4 Simple Home Care Tips to Maintain Normality
Alzheimer's Care: 4 Simple Home Care Tips to Maintain Normality
“You’ll never know how much your caring matters. Make a difference for a different today.”
— Amy Leigh M, author
Caring for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia condition could be described as a huge, scary and emotional daily rollercoaster ride. The scariest moments often come early on, when your loved one can still maintain some independence.
Experts agree that the more an individual with Alzheimer’s can keep some semblance of independence (some “normal” in their life), the more stable their mental and physical health will remain.
TechSilver understands both the rollercoaster ride you’re on and the importance of your loved one’s independence. Their ability to lead a normal life for as long as possible is crucial above all else.
We want to make a difference today for them.
And so, today, we’re offering you 4 tips to help you care for someone with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia condition to allow them as much independence and normality as possible.
Tip 1 - Create a Daily Routine
What could be more normal than a daily routine? Routine is something people with memory loss need, as it helps remind them of “what comes next?” with little effort.
Some things to include in a daily routine are:
- Wake up time
- Daily preparations (getting dressed, washing face, opening the curtains and whatnot)
- Morning exercises and other activities
- Morning medications
- Afternoon activities
- Evening medications
- Evening activities
- Pre-bed preparations (bath, medications, pyjamas, and whatnot)
- Bed time
Each individual’s day and needs will be unique to them, and you may not be able to schedule everything into a daily diary. The more you can schedule, however, the better the impact on their independence.
Two things to keep in mind when helping a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s are remembering who they are now, and who they used to be.
For example, remembering who they are now aids in adjusting routines and activities as their capabilities wane and as the disease progresses. Also, most of us have times of day when we are fresh and ready to go, and other times when we are tired and need quiet or rest.
Likewise, recalling who they used to be can help you choose activities to include in their daily and weekly lives.
A former avid gardener may enjoy caring for a few houseplants or a simple container garden, for example. A retired office worker might find satisfaction in sorting mail, organising photos, or keeping in touch with friends and family via phone calls.
The key is to make the daily routine manageable for both of you, and meaningful for them. Otherwise, it becomes a to-do list instead of a lifestyle.
Tip 2 - Keep Them Socially Active
None of us, not even introverts, like to be isolated and alone for very long. The same goes for those with Alzheimer’s and related types of dementia. The disease can often make them embarrassed, which keeps them withdrawn and isolated from friends, family, and their community.
That’s why social interaction is so important to maintain both a sense of normalcy and a healthy mental state.
Most communities offer activities for seniors like exercise classes, arts and crafts groups, dances and social gatherings. The idea is not to learn anything, but to gather, interact, and socialise. Even simple family gatherings can make a huge difference.
When choosing activities, make sure they are enjoyable and accessible. That way, your senior loved one will want to participate and will look forward to the outings.
Tip 3 - Manage and Reduce Stress
Dementia and Alzheimer’s often create stressful, disorienting, overwhelming feelings in both the patient and caregiver.
One thing you can do to help all involved is to recognize, manage, and reduce stress as much as possible.
Some examples might include:
- A wardrobe change: Buttons and zippers, closely fitting clothing, and even shoelaces can present difficulties for those with dementia, as well as the caregiver assisting them to dress and undress. Switching to velcro shoes, pullover tops, and elastic-waisted trousers can make life less stressful for all.
- Simplifying choices: From what to eat to what to wear, making choices can be overwhelming and distressing for someone with diminished mental capacities. Making choices, however, is important for maintaining a sense of independence and normalcy. Try narrowing the field a bit to two or three options. Doing so allows for easier decision-making without overwhelming stress.
- Safety devices: Dementia sufferers often forget to take their medications. They forget to feed a pet for example, or worse, themselves. Dementia sufferers sometimes wander too. Similarly, they sometimes simply find themselves in “unfamiliar” territory even though they aren’t far from home. Safety devices like our TechSilver GPS trackers and Talking Reminder Clocks assist them and you in these stressful situations. Our GPS trackers allow you to know where your loved one is, no matter what time of day or night. You can even set “safety zones” so they can go outside without cause for concern.
Here’s what Gillian, a satisfied customer, had to say:
“The tracker is just what we needed and has given us peace of mind.”
Another helpful gadget is our Talking Reminder Clock, which gives audio cues for things like taking medications, feeding a pet, getting a drink of water, attending appointments, and other essential activities. It can be a useful tool in maintaining an important daily routine.
Safety devices prevent confusion and avoid distress, and they can reduce stress for both you and your loved one.
Tip 4 - Keep Them Physically Active
Promoting exercise for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s has more than just a physical effect. Physical activity releases endorphins – those “feel good” brain chemicals that keep us feeling positive.
Physical activity for seniors can help build up muscle strength and flexibility. This allows them to be physically able to participate in their favourite activities for longer, allowing them a more fulfilling and full life.
The table below outlines exercises and activities appropriate for those in all stages of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
|Activities for Early and Middle Stages||Activities for Later Stages|
|Walking||Seated “shuffle” from one end of bed to the other|
|Dancing||Lying as flat as possible on back for 20 to 30 minutes a day|
|Swimming||Sit unsupported for 5 to 10 minutes a day|
|Tai Chi, Qigong, or Yoga||Balance while standing several times a day|
|Gardening||Regular periods of getting up and moving about|
|Seated or Chair Exercises||Simple seated stretches and bends|
The recommended amount of exercise for seniors is 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. This can be accomplished in shorter sessions throughout the day, such as 15 minutes of gardening in the morning and a 15-minute stroll after dinner.
Keeping your senior loved one active helps to keep them mentally well. It also helps to prevent falls and other accidents that are scary, stressful and dangerous.
TechSilver Wants to Help You Help Your Loved One
At TechSilver, we really do care about you and your loved ones. We want to see all of you live as normal and happy a life as possible.
We discussed two of our safety devices earlier. Now, let us tell you a bit about who we are and why we do what we do.
We believe wholeheartedly that technology holds the key to improving life’s later stages. We want to see everyone live as fulfilling and as full a life as possible, for as long as possible.
Whether it’s one of our keyboards built to aid those with diminished vision, a GPS tracker for those with dementia, or an easy-to-use smartphone for the elderly, everything we do has independence, normalcy, and most importantly, stress-free living as its goal.
Our customer service is available 7 days a week, from 9:00am to 6:30pm.
You care for your loved one. You want to make sure they have a different today. We care about you both and we want to make sure you both have a different today, and a different tomorrow too.
Hi, I'm Miles
I’m the founder of TechSilver, the world’s leading assistive tech specialists. My team has made these resources to help people care for their loved ones, so we hope we can help you today!
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