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Alzheimer's tips for caregivers

Home health aids like this walk in tub can make your job easier.
Home health aids like this walk in tub can make your job easier.
Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Caring for an Alzheimer's patient requires plenty of patience and understanding. There are numerous ways to help both the patient and caregivers. Alzheimer's caregiver tips from insiders can save you work, your sanity and maintain a good relationship between caregiver and patient. Why not take a little helpful advice from experienced Alzheimer's caregivers to make your job easier?

Take care of yourself

Caring for the Alzheimer's patient can be a daunting task. Caregivers will need all of their mental and physical strength to meet the challenges of patient care. Eat a healthy diet, get plenty of exercise and rest. Make time for things you find enjoyable as well. A healthy physical and mental state will make all the difference when dealing with dementia and other Alzheimer's issues.

Ask for help when needed

Caring for the Alzheimer's patient is an overwhelming responsibility. Caregivers can't do it alone. There are support groups both online and in major cities across the nation. These groups can educate you about Alzheimer's disease and help you anticipate pitfalls before they happen. Don't forget to ask relatives to share the burden of caring for the Alzheimer's patient.

Home safety

Caring for Alzheimer's patients in the home may require installing safety measures. Consider grab bars and non-slip bath mats for the tub or shower. Hand held shower heads enable the Alzheimer's patient to shower while seated. Caregivers should keep the home as clutter free as possible to avoid falls and injuries. Consider installing childproof locks on medicine cabinets to lessen the chance of overdose. Auto shut off for stoves and appliances are a good idea too.

Wandering

Alzheimer's patients have a history of wandering from the home and becoming lost. This can be a serious problem when dementia sets in. Patients may forget where they live or even who they are. Caregivers should be sure dementia and Alzheimer's patients always carry some form of identification. Special bracelets or dog tags can be made with name, address and caregivers contact information. Be sure to install locks on doors and windows if there is a wandering problem.

Bathroom issues

The Alzheimer's patient may not always be aware of needing the restroom. Bringing them to the restroom at specified times may help to solve this problem. Caregivers may have to become more observant to the patients bathroom body language to avoid accidents. When away from home, be sure clothing is easily removable in case of rushed trips to the restroom. Bring an extra set of clothing in case the first one becomes soiled. Use protective adult underwear to alleviate embarrassment from accidents.

Finances

It's a good idea to discuss financial matters when Alzheimer's is first diagnosed. Caregivers should work with Alzheimer's patients in advance on a financial plan. Take the time to sit down together before the disease progresses. Get all finances in order. This might include writing up a will, providing for nursing home care, selling the home, insurance or other financial matters that will become more difficult as the disease progresses. Bring family members in on these decisions to avoid misunderstandings and stress.

Other tips

There are many other helpful tips Alzheimer's caregivers will find useful. Your primary care physician can suggest support groups in your area. Check this government website for answers to many questions. Get together with other caregivers regularly to discuss issues and concerns. Chances are these people have dealt with similar issues and can provide information and guidance. Caregivers can help each other through many difficult situations.

This article was previously published by this author on a closed Yahoo! property.