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.
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
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
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
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
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.