4 Ways For Caregivers To Manage Alzheimer’s and Dementia Symptoms

If your parent or partner was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you may find yourself in uncharted territory. Perhaps you feel insecure and anxious, unsure of how to manage the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia at home while ensuring your loved one still enjoys the highest quality of life. Or maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of caring for someone with such unique and specific needs.

Let us help. Here are four tips to help caregivers and care partners feel more empowered to manage their loved one’s Alzheimer’s and dementia symptoms, while also making time to take care of themselves.

1. Think Safety First

Perhaps the hardest task for a caregiver or care partner is helping their loved one cope with the behaviors caused by dementias like Alzheimer’s, while still maintaining a sense of independence. When debating whether to allow your loved one to perform a task, ask yourself if there is risk of harm and what you can do to lessen that risk.

For example, if your spouse or parent likes to cook, perhaps you can enjoy a crossword puzzle or book in the kitchen while they prepare their favorite meal. This way you can keep an eye on the stove without being overbearing.

Additional examples include installing door chimes if the person is prone to wandering, putting locks on cabinet doors and keeping the house clear of clutter to prevent slips or falls.

2. Avoid Stressors

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia, along with the medications that treat them, may leave your loved one feeling agitated and anxious. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one of the best ways to help them maintain their quality of life at home is to eliminate or mediate stressful situations.

Accomplishing this can take many shapes or forms, depending on your loved one’s situation. Using the cooking example above, you may encourage your parent or partner to pick out the recipes they enjoy cooking, but offer to help them prepare a grocery list. If their symptoms are more severe, you may develop a system to help them organize their clothes in the order they are put on each morning.

Solutions like these can help them navigate tasks that were once easy but now cause confusion and frustration.

Avoiding busy and unfamiliar locations, like new restaurants or shops, can also lessen the feeling of disorientation, which may lead to wandering and further anxiety.

To further eliminate stress, consider establishing a “help signal” with your loved one. This can be a previously agreed-upon phrase, gesture or exchange that tells you it’s okay to step in and help them recall a name, word or step in a process. This lets them maintain their independence while feeling fully supported and confident.

3. Maintain a Schedule

A daily routine can also help ease Alzheimer’s and dementia symptoms like wandering, agitation and memory loss, according to Serenades by Sonata, a specialized memory care community in Florida.

You might want to start the morning making a healthy breakfast together, followed by a personal care routine and then a walk around the block. In the afternoon, you may make time for a visit or call with a friend or family member, followed by a nap and then some craft time or gardening.

If you plan activities around the time your loved one is most likely to wander, it gives them a healthier outlet for their restlessness. Making a routine that includes light exercise and social interactions can also help reduce anxiety and agitation.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Your job as a caregiver and care partner is important, but it can also feel overwhelming. It’s okay to seek help from a Florida Alzheimer’s and/or dementia care community.

When you need a respite, consider entrusting your loved one’s care to a Florida memory care community that celebrates its residents’ individuality and unique needs. You’re not just doing it for your loved one, but for your well-being, too. It’s been proven that person-centered care can dramatically improve the quality of life of those affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s in Florida.

For more information on Sonata’s senior living communities, call a community near you today to schedule a visit →

A Practical Guide For Managing Alzheimer’s and Dementia Behaviors

Few people thrust into the role of caregiver have received any formal training on the confusing symptoms that can attend the onset of memory loss. Relying on experts in the field, our guide is a short yet comprehensive primer in managing behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.