Tips for Caregivers

Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) at home is a difficult task and can become overwhelming at times. Each day brings new challenges as the caregiver copes with changing levels of ability and new patterns of behaviour.

1. Communicate clearly

  • one point at a time
  • use simple words
  • minimize distractions and noise – such as television or radio – to help the person focus on what you are saying.

2. Dealing with personal hygiene

  • Respect that bathing may be scary and uncomfortable for some persons with AD.
  • be gentle and respectful.
  • prepare bath in advance.
  • develop a routine.

3. Dressing

  • limit number of outfits to choose from
  • choose clothing that is comfortable, easy to get manner on and off.

4. Eating

  • make mealtimes an opportunity for social interaction.
  • allow limited number of meal choices
  • make healthy snacks.
  • choose dishes and eating utensils that promote independence.

5. Engage and encourage

  • get the person involved in meaningful activities.
  • make the activities simple so that the person will succeed at it.
  • watch for signs of agitation and frustration with an activity.  Gently help or distract them.
  • praise the person for doing the activity.
  • encourage physical activities. Spend time outside as much as possible.

6. Consider safety

  • keeping the person safe is the most important aspect of care giving.
  • keep a recent picture of the person.
  • notify neighbours in advance that the person has a tendency to wander.
  • keep doors locked.

7. Do not argue

8. Keep it quiet

  • Avoid crowds and lots of noise.
  • Reduce conflicting noises.

9. Slow down

  • Provide care in a relaxed manner.
  • Plan.

10. Smile

  • The person with AD will notice your emotional state, body language and tone of voice.

11. Talk with others

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