There are many things you can do to help your loved one with Alzheimer’s enjoy their daily activities.
Although people with Alzheimer’s are often confused, you can help them feel calmer and more secure by following these 6 tips.
1. Maintain a routine
People with Alzheimer’s tend to prefer a set daily routine. Change can disturb or confuse them. For example, if you need to take a relative or friend who has Alzheimer’s to the doctor’s, leave a reminder of the visit on the fridge. This is useful because people with Alzheimer’s can often understand what they’re reading when they can’t understand the words being spoken.
Some doctors suggest leaving sticky notes around the house with instructions such as “To the bathroom.” This will help them feel comfortable and familiar with their surroundings.
2. Limit noise and movement
People with Alzheimer’s are easily distracted by crowds and noise. To help people with Alzheimer’s, you could:
* Avoid shopping in crowded department stores. Take them to a small shop instead. Or go shopping when the stores aren’t crowded.
* Meet in small groups. While your loved one might want to see the whole family while on vacation, he or she may be overwhelmed with so many grandchildren. To make everyone’s visit more comfortable, consider having smaller groups with family members at different times.
* Leave the TV off during other activities. Someone with Alzheimer’s may have trouble distinguishing between what’s happening in the room and what’s happening on TV.
3. Find things they can do
When people with Alzheimer’s spend time on familiar tasks and hobbies, they feel more productive and happier. Just make sure they can handle it safely.
You may need to change your favorite pastime or do something together. For example:
*Grandma who loves to bake might still be able to bake cookies if you brought and calculated the ingredients beforehand.
* Someone confused with all the washing machine settings might be able to take the towels out of the dryer and fold them like a pro.
* A retired carpenter who doesn’t know how to use power tools may appreciate it if you give them a piece of wood to smooth.
4. Be understanding
People with Alzheimer’s are less likely to improve their skills or remember directions. Therefore, you should lower your expectations of what your loved one can and cannot do.
For example, you could let your mother set the table. If you later need to rearrange the cutlery and put it in the right order, that’s no problem.
And instead of constantly reminding grandpa not to drink from the milk bottle, buy him his own bottle and write his name on it.
5. Make decisions for your loved ones
Someone with Alzheimer’s may feel annoyed or confused when making decisions. That means you need to take control of his day-to-day decisions.
For example, instead of asking your wife what she wants to wear, let her choose between just two tops. Or just pick one for her and tell her how much she likes it.
Help your human in a restaurant look at the menu. Then suggest some dishes that he would like.
6. Be prepared for “Sunset Syndrome”.
Some people with Alzheimer’s are more restless at night. This is known as the “Sundowning Effect”.
To soothe your loved one at night:
* Turn on the light. A well-lit environment might be less alarming.
* Show that you share their concerns. At night, your loved one may fear that a burglar is trying to break into the house. Don’t dismiss his fears. Instead, let them indicate that you are checking that the doors and windows are locked.