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4 Ways To Make Your Loved One's Life With Alzheimer's Easier

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Alzheimer's can be a devastating disease—not just for the person suffering from it, but for the people involved with that person's life, as well. Many people believe that Alzheimer's has robbed their loved one's personhood away from them, and that they're not able to recover that sense of person throughout the entirety of the rest of their life. It is important to remember that it is fine to feel this way, but your main concern should be about maintaining your beloved's quality of life and attempting to maintain the standard of life that they once had. There are a number of ways that you can make your loved one's life with Alzheimer's easier.

Go Beyond Repetition

One of the primary things that your loved one will suffer from is repetition of action due to short-term memory loss. This means that they will constantly be asking you the same questions, over and over. It is recommended that you do not get frustrated when this happens, as it is an essential factor of having Alzheimer's. It is also not necessarily recommended that you answer the questions over and over, either. This will not benefit the patient and it will certainly not benefit you. Rather, attempt to address the underlying emotion of the question. For example, perhaps a patient is looking for assurance. Let your loved one know that you're there for them and that they are safe.

Ignore Memory Lapses

This might be difficult to do, but you have to understand that memory lapses are an essential facet of a person suffering from Alzheimer's. Keep in mind that this is a progressive disorder as well. Their memory lapses will only continue to get worse as they age. There's no real benefit in trying to jog an Alzheimer's sufferer's memory. It will only serve to make the situation more emotionally trying and frustrating to you. Don't focus on the fact that this person may not be able to specifically recall this memory or that. Rather, try to live in the here and now and attempt to ameliorate the experience they are currently having.

Find Things You Both Enjoy

Taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer's can quickly become both frustrating and tedious. That is why it is important to find things in your life that you can both enjoy. For example, you can turn the act of bathing into a spa experience. Relax your loved one and make sure their muscles are adequately massaged; many people ultimately find this an enjoyable and relaxing experience. It might be wise to take notice of your loved one's repetitive behaviors, as they might be indicative of something that they wish to repeat, due to an enjoyment of the activity itself.

Simplicity

Your daily routine with your loved one should be kept as simple as possible and should not deviate from the routine that you have established together too much. Procedural, or habitual, memories remain in Alzheimer's patients, and it is easier to deal with them rather than associative or familial memories; as such, you should start off the day with helping to re-establish those procedural memories, such as helping your loved one brush his or her teeth and hair. You might even want to replace items that required procedural memory with even easier tools to help assist them with these tasks. For example, an electric toothbrush might work more sufficiently than a regular one.

Alzheimer's is a difficult disease to deal with for both the person suffering from it and the people who love that person. Hopefully, this article has given you some insight regarding things that can make your loved one's life a bit easier, despite suffering from Alzheimer's. If you need extra help in caring for your loved one with Alzheimer's, look into facilities like River Grand Senior Living that specialize in memory care.

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2 February 2016