Dementia and Alzheimer's patients also need the assistance of a caregiver to get through the day. Alzheimer's disease is a progressive disease, which means that it has three stages: early, middle, and late. With the progression of the disease, the caregiver's presence is becoming more critical. Here are some tips to support you as a caregiver on a day-to-day basis as this process progresses:
You owe it to yourself and your loved one to be conscious of dementia signs and the types of habits likely to occur shortly. There are online resources and local organizations that are willing and able to help you better understand what is going on and how things can progress.
Consult on decisions
This might not be pleasant at first, but everyone will have to adjust to the new situation. But start dreaming about the future as soon as possible, and make as many decisions as you can for your loved one, including legal, financial, and long-term care planning.
Establish a Support System
Make a concerted attempt to enlist the assistance of others. People who can and will do stuff and those who provide emotional and spiritual support should be included. Inquire of those you feel are capable and earnest in their ability to assist. Ask more people than you think you'll need because there will be occasions (such as holidays) where "everyone" will be busy. Also, ask outside of your immediate family and friends. This raises the probability of them not being occupied while the family is.
Make sure your home is secured.
Conduct a home safety evaluation by seeing your loved one's home from the perspective of a dementia patient. Keep an eye out for tripping risks. Look for any locks or latches that may be concealed or taken out. Update your emergency contact list and keep it in a visible spot. Designate or build safe storage locations for dangerous materials, harsh cleaning supplies, medications, and other products. Decide whether the kitchen or garage should be off-limits, and if so, how access to them should be regulated.
Create a Day-to-Day Routine
Setting up a daily schedule for the patient early on is one of the best ideas for dementia or Alzheimer's caregivers. For them, the comfort and protection of the familiar have a soothing and comforting effect. It will minimize the number of wandering episodes (six out of ten people with dementia wander). If they become restless or frustrated, consider their emotional state and welcome them back to routine. A daily schedule also offers relief caregivers a roadmap to follow when they arrive to assist.
Raise Your Loved One's Trust
Your loved one will understand less and less as the disease progresses. It's disorienting for them to feel lost or deserted. Their feelings can deteriorate to a point where they are highly damaging. However, speak to them about their hopes, questions, and concerns at any moment. As much as possible, include them in their lives. Even if they can't articulate their needs clearly, even a suggestion of what they want can help you better care for them. Make an effort to answer affectionately and reassuringly.
Look out for caregiver burnout.
It's easy to believe that you have to do everything yourself, that your loved one deserves it, and that you owe it to them to give it your all. That is admirable, but you are human, and you will need a break at some point. It is neither a good nor a bad thing; it is simply human. Burnout can happen to anyone. Request a day off from your support system. That's why they're there in the first place.