Essential Tips on Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s

Caregivers are essential to the lives of those affected by Alzheimer’s. When so much seems out of our control, your compassion and love guide them through this transition with dignity and grace. Though your contributions are priceless, they can take a toll on a caregiver’s emotional and physical well-being without the right tools. With some practice and patience, these essential tips will help you get the support you need when caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

Take Care of Yourself So You Can Take Care of Your Loved One.

Look after yourself-Caregivers

Taking care of yourself physically and mentally is one of the most important things you can do as a caregiver. As the saying goes, “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” so the tips below can help you avoid caregiver burnout and maintain your overall health:

  • Ask for help when you need it
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Join a caregiver’s support group online or in-person
  • Take small breaks each day
  • Spend time with friends and keep up with your favorite hobbies
  • Exercise as often as you can
  • Try practicing meditation or other relaxation techniques
  • Consider seeking help from mental health professionals to better cope with stress and anxiety

As Your Loved One Changes, So Will the Way You Care for Them.

Older hand and younger hand

Your duties as a caregiver will change as your loved one progresses through the stages of Alzheimer’s. Their needs will be different than others with AD. Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind during daily activities:

  • Try to keep a routine, such as bathing, dressing, and eating at the same time each day.
    • Serve meals in a consistent and familiar place and give them enough time to eat.
    • Tell your loved one what you will do, step by step, while you help them bathe or get dressed.
  • Help them write down activities, appointments, and other events in a notebook or calendar.
    • Plan activities that they enjoy and try to do them around the same time daily.
    • Consider a system or reminders for ensuring medications are taken on time.
  • When dressing or bathing, allow your loved one to do as much as possible.
    • Consider loose-fitting, comfortable, easy-to-use clothing, such as:
      • Clothes with elastic waistbands, fabric fasteners, or large zipper pulls instead of shoelaces, buttons, or buckles.
    • Use a sturdy shower chair if your loved one is unsteady to prevent falls.

Don’t Stay in the Dark About Your Alzheimer’s Risk.

If you’re a caregiver of a loved one with Alzheimer’s or have a family history of AD, you can turn uncertainty into knowledge as a clinical research volunteer. By participating in Alzheimer’s prevention studies, you can better understand your risk for AD while helping to improve options for it.

You can make a difference

Explore your options today! Contact North Georgia Clinical Research at (678) 494-5735 or learn more on our website.