Health organizations the world over have declared July 2nd through the 8th Alzheimer’s Awareness Week.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, nearly 10 million Americans are caring for persons with Alzheimer’s disease or similar dementia. Looking after a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be an emotionally draining experience. A caregiver often watches helplessly as the mind of a spouse or parent deteriorates. As their ability to perform once-simple tasks declines, an Alzheimer’s sufferer may turn their frustration outward. But there are steps a caregiver can take to put them at ease.
These suggestions from the Mayo clinic can help reduce the fear and frustration an elderly loved one experiences:
- Create a daily routine for all activities, and move the most difficult tasks to the time of the day your loved one is most and calm and coherent.
- Allow your loved one to do as much as possible on their own. Gently assist them when needed, but never hurry or over correct them.
- Avoid activities that require lots of choices or decisions, and reduce external distractions as much as possible.
- Minimize household dangers by locking away medicine, alcohol, poisonous substances, matches, guns, knives and other dangerous utensils.
- Remove tripping hazards such as rugs and extension cords, install handrails, and keep all electrical devices out of the bathroom.
- As your loved one’s abilities deteriorate, be prepared to further simplify your activities and routines.