Three Significant Ways to Help Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease

Caregiving can affect the caregiver's life in a myriad of ways. Family caregivers have emotional challenges as well, especially caring for someone with dementia. Professional care is expensive. Take care of loved ones now and prepare for your future aging before you retire.

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Three Significant Ways to Help Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease
3 Min Read September 27th, 2022

As you age, you grow more vulnerable to a wide range of illnesses and issues such as cognitive decline, mobility issues, and more. Meanwhile, more specific examples of age-related illnesses include cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, dementia, Alzheimer's, and more. 

While these can be delayed with better lifestyle choices, many seniors already suffer from such diseases. They need special aid and care from loved ones and licensed professionals to cope with these illnesses. 

If you're reading this, chances are you're looking to take better care of someone suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that causes a person's brain to atrophy or shrink and their brain cells to die. As a result, individuals suffering from this disease slowly lose their ability to think, remember, behave, and function properly. 

Because seniors with Alzheimer's disease lose the ability to perform daily necessary tasks, their quality of life can decrease significantly. It can certainly be difficult to witness a loved one suffer from this disease. If you wish to support others suffering from the disease, consider searching for living centers with charity drives.

Helping an elderly loved one cope with Alzheimer's can be challenging and emotionally draining. If you wish to equip yourself and learn about several ways you can help them cope with the disease, consider the following:

  1. Improve Their Environment

The first way you can help seniors cope with Alzheimer's is by improving their environment. This essentially means making their environment safer and more comfortable.

Alzheimer's disease can impair their judgment and overall thinking skills, making them vulnerable to accidents and injuries. Improving their environment means they move around their living space without endangering themselves. You may do this by eliminating any obstacles and objects that might harm them.

You can also tailor their environment to help them remain focused and to help them perform their daily routines. This may include establishing the sequence of their daily tasks and activities. You can also optimize this according to their behavioral patterns and mood. If you find that they're much sharper during the morning, you may schedule mentally demanding tasks for that period.

2.     Learn How to Communicate

The next way to help your senior cope with Alzheimer's disease would be to learn how to better communicate with them. One of the effects of this disease on a person is the degrading of their communication skills. As a result, the caregiver and the senior often end up miscommunicating. 

You can improve this by being more patient and adjusting how you communicate with your loved one. There are plenty of ways to do this. For one, you may choose to use simpler words and a calm tone. Another would be to speak clearly and slowly enough for them to understand, but avoid speaking to them as if they were a child, for they may feel insulted and disrespected. After speaking, consider giving them time to process what you said and respond while avoiding interrupting them. 

While there're plenty more ways to improve your communication with a senior with Alzheimer's, you may begin improving your caregiving skills by utilizing the methods above. Doing so will make coping with Alzheimer's an easier experience for your loved one.

3.     Let Them Be Independent

Alzheimer's is not any ordinary illness. It robs people of simple, everyday activities. As a caregiver, you must let your patient or loved one with Alzheimer's be independent. Indeed, individuals with Alzheimer's will require additional assistance and care as their thinking abilities and behavior are negatively affected by the disease, but it's worth noting that this doesn't make them fully incapable of performing several tasks and activities. 

It helps to plan their activities ahead. Daily household chores like cleaning, baking, exercise, and pet care are very enriching for Alzheimer's patients. If they enjoyed certain activities before their diagnosis, it helps to bring those back, too.

For seniors in the early stages of Alzheimer's, you can also plan events like family outings, mall dates, museum trips, and more. Keep these trips short and not so exhausting for your senior. Whatever you plan, you must let them do their thing while still being on the lookout for their well-being.

Conclusion

As Alzheimer's disease robs people of their ability to perform daily tasks and have a good quality of life, they require special care. While there are currently no effective cures for this, you may help a loved one with Alzheimer's cope with this disease. Consider researching which of these ways best fits your loved one's needs or simply try them out and help them better cope with Alzheimer's disease.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Ortega is a clinical assistant and writer focusing on health issues that affect the older generation. She is also passionate about caring for the elderly and spends her free time volunteering in continuing care communities.

LTC News Contributor Elizabeth Ortega

Elizabeth Ortega

Contributor since September 27th, 2022

Editor's Note

Quality care for those with dementia must be person-centered. Person-centered care is designed with the requirements of the person with dementia in mind, and it calls for the caregivers to be aware of their particular wants and needs. 

This type of care is hard for professionals; however, many family members are forced into the role of being a caregiver. Family caregivers are not equipped for the demands that caregivers must face. Family caregivers are not emotionally prepared either. There are better ways to address your future declining health and aging in the years ahead.

Long-Term Care Insurance provides you with resources and guarantees. You will have guaranteed tax-free funds to pay for your choice of quality care in the setting you choose. Professional care allows your family the time to concentrate on being family instead of being a caregiver.

Long-term health care is also expensive. The cost of long-term care services is rising sharply. It can easily impact families, even those who are financially sound.

The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the financial impact of current and future long-term health care on you and your family. The calculator provides the current and future costs of all levels of care where you live.

How do you prepare? Communication is key. Be sure your family understands your desires. However, give them the tools to make those desires happen. Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance should be a key part of your planning.

Most people obtain coverage in their 50s when their overall good health and age give them lower premiums and more options. Several top insurance companies offer long-term care products; you can review the top companies on LTC NEWS - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance.

Be sure to work with a qualified and experienced specialist to help you navigate all the available options. Premiums vary dramatically between companies, but Long-Term Care Insurance is regulated. Insurance companies must file their products and pricing with the state's insurance department. The underwriting criteria and pricing, however, vary depending on the company. The specialist can provide quotes from all the top companies and help match you with the right company and the best value.

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There are a variety of tools and resources that LTC NEWS offers that can help you in your research:

  • The Ultimate Long-Term Care Insurance Guide - If you like details, you will enjoy this comprehensive guide to LTC Insurance. 

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  • Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim - Does a loved one - like your Mom or Dad - have a Long-Term Care Insurance policy and need to file a claim to get benefits? LTC NEWS will help. If they don't have a policy, but you need help in getting a plan of care and finding caregivers, LTC NEWS can also assist.

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