You cannot plan for the moment when you will have to transition from merely a spouse or a child into a caregiver. In fact, until you need to, there is nothing that would’ve told you how to help Alzheimer’s patients. This is one of the most horrible diseases to watch, and havening not only to witness the effects, but be there helping your loved one every day can be difficult. Transitioning into a caregiver is not something that will happen overnight, it will take time and a lot of learning as you go, but know that there is advice and help out there to help you during this time.
Keeping Calm, Reducing Frustrations
The beginning stages of Alzheimer’s will still allow your loved one to be able to live their life and perform their daily tasks with little or no assistance. Becoming a caregiver at the very beginning stages allows you time to transition into the more demanding role that’s to come. The Mayo Clinic offered some tips for making the day to day stresses a bit easier and some things you need to keep in mind as you help your loved one through the day.
– Scheduling: Your loved one may get confused often, and to help reduce that feeling, you should develop a routine you follow every day. You will need to go through a lot of trial and error when first figuring out the best routine as certain activities such as bathing can be particularly difficult and should be done at a time where your parent or spouse is most relaxed.
– Do Not Rush: Everything is going to take longer, that is something you just need to understand. Rushing your loved one can add to the frustration they are experiencing and rather than place that added pressure on them, just give a little extra time.
– Let Them Retain Their Freedom: You may feel the need to start doing everything for your loved one the second you learn of the diagnosis, but this is a mistake. Remember that it is your loved one who has Alzheimer’s and has to live with the knowledge that they will slowly be losing control of their life. Let them retain as much freedom as possible and have them do as many of their daily tasks as they can on their own.
Take It One Day At a Time
Remember, there is no innate knowledge within you that will tell you how to become an Alzheimer’s caregiver, but you will need to do your best. Keep things simple, keep emotions calm, and have them do as much as possible. You will get through this.