Watching a loved one’s mind slipping away is difficult. Though you may feel powerless, here are 8 tips for supporting your loved one with Alzheimers.

We do not have to support our loved ones alone.
Photo by Christian Brown on Unsplash
We do not have to support our loved ones alone.
Photo by Christian Brown on Unsplash

1. Get Prepared for the Road Ahead

Alzheimers is a long journey. Full of struggles and rewards. Progress and fallbacks. Be prepared. When you are mentally prepared, you can better support your loved one.

2. Join a Support Group-yes, You

Support goes both ways: for you and your loved one
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Support goes both ways: for you and your loved one
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

This may seem strange. You came to an article for ways to support your loved one not ways to support you. But, hear me out.

Sometimes, the only way to truly support our loved one is to find someone to be there for you. Find yourself an outlet.

When someone we love has Alzheimers, it can be tempting to spend all waking hours to make their life better. But, if you don’t take time for yourself, you can’t fully be there for them.

3. Share and Talk to Your Loved one.

Often, when our loved ones have Alzheimers, they can’t respond. They may have lost the ability to speak. But, they are not deaf. Share what’s going on in your life. Share news!

4. Keep Communication Clear and Simple

Our communication with our loved ones matters. 
Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash
Our communication with our loved ones matters.
Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash

For those with Alzheimers, long drawn out explanations or stories become increasingly hard to follow. Keep your communication concise and to the point.

5. Find Something They Enjoy and do it With Them

Those with Alzheimers can still enjoy life. Watching TV, singing, cooking, simple crafts are all activities we can do with our loved one. Even watching birds, taking a walk, untying loose knots or organizing a room.

Remember, as Alzheimers progresses, manageable tasks decrease.

6. Make Them Feel Loved and Appreciated

We can make our loved ones feel appreciated.
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash
We can make our loved ones feel appreciated.
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

Give your loved one a hug, a kiss, pat on the hand, holding their hand or any other form of affection they need, want, and can tolerate.

If they don’t remember who you are, be a smiling face, a loving hand.

You can give a piece of normalcy to the Alzheimers journey. Just by BEING THERE.

7. Don’t Take Outbursts to Heart

Anger, sadness, and fear are common symptoms of Alzheimers. It is not a personal attack.

Though fearful and angry outbursts may seem extreme to us, they are logical in our loved one’s mind.

Often, those with Alzheimers lash out due to a loss of control. When everything is not going to plan, that fear can be overhwelming.

So, stay calm. Stay present.

A tip my grandmother told me: “If we react the same way, we only add fuel to the situation. By being calm, we offer another way.”

8. Assist With Everyday Tasks

Support your loved one by aiding in simple tasks.
Photo by Elien Dumon by unsplash
Support your loved one by aiding in simple tasks.
Photo by Elien Dumon by unsplash

As our loved one’s Alzheimers progresses, everyday tasks become impossible. From feeding themselves to walking. Instead of offering criticism, offer love.

You can offer support by assisting with these simple things.

Do you have any tips for supporting a loved one with Alzheimers? Let me know in the comments.