Caring For A Loved One With Alzheimer's Disease: Everyday Care Tips For You

When you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, you may not know what to do or how to handle the situation. However, what you do know is that they will require continued assistance, care, and supervision going forward. While forgetfulness and emotional and mental behavior issues will indeed be factors when it comes to taking care of your loved one with Alzheimer's disease, there are more issues that you will be dealing with on an everyday basis that you should be aware of. Get to know some of these everyday care issues so that you can be the best caregiver possible to your loved one as they deal with their Alzheimer's disease.

Monitoring Meals and Nutrition

As a caregiver to your loved one with Azheimer's disease, one of your primary tasks will be to ensure that your loved one remains as healthy as possible on a daily basis. This, of course means that you will have to keep an eye on how much they eat, what they eat, and how often they eat.

Ideally, you will want to keep your loved one on a standard meal schedule, one that they have been familiar with for most of their lives. For most people, that is 3 meals a day with occasional snacks.

If you are going to be preparing your loved one's meals for them, this task gets somewhat easier in that you will serve meals at specific times or intervals throughout the day and can offer balanced, healthy meals. Try to allow your loved one to make as many of their own meal decisions as possible.

However, with Alzheimer's, too many choices can be overwhelming. Instead of offering several options like on a menu, ask simple either or questions. For example, ask them if they would like chicken or salmon for dinner that evening. Or ask them if they would prefer green beans or peas with their meal. This will help keep them involved without overwhelming and frustrating them.

Be Prepared for Incontinence Issues

Having bladder issues is a common problem for people living with Alzheimer's disease. The forgetfulness and memory issues as well as a lack of awareness regarding the passage of time can lead to bladder issues and accidents. This can also be due to the fact that your loved one cannot find the bathroom in their own home if their memory of their home's layout lapses.

In order to deal with such incontinence issues, you will want to try to remind your loved one every few hours that they may need to use the restroom. Ask them if they would like to go, but do not force the issue if they become defensive or angry.

Also, understand that accidents will happen. Help your loved one to clean up and get changed. Do not shame them or show your frustration (though it is completely natural to feel frustrated). Of course, once your loved one begins to have more frequent accidents and issues, be sure to incorporate incontinence pads and underwear into their care routine to help with cleanup and avoid embarrassment for your loved one.

Now that you have a few ideas of what daily Alzheimer's care can and will look like, you can be prepared and get started providing your loved one with the best care possible.

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