Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, one of the most common forms of dementia or “senile dementia” as they call it. It is very painful to watch how a person with Alzheimer’s disease gradually loses one’s identity. Here are a few recommendations for interacting with such patients from people who have been providing care for them for over 30 years
How to communicate with patients?
Remember: Alzheimer’s disease affects different people differently depending on patient’s personality and the stage of the disease. What works now may not work later. The disease is not your close friend, it is a separate category. Treat patient as an adult, not as a child; do not discuss their condition with someone else in their presence as if the patient does not understand anything at all. Respect their need to express their feelings and desires.
Try to see things from their point of view, use humor to defuse tough situations. Ask questions one at a time, not all together. Do not try to convince them and concentrate on the feelings, not on the words. Rituals might be very helpful – find the one that works best and be flexible if it stops working.
How to make house safer?
Again, you may use different strategies depending on the stage of the disease. Walk around the house and imagine where a person can slip, get scalded or injured, and isolate these places. Remove the mats, which can make the person slip. Hide medications. Install stoppers or additional locks on the doors and windows in order not to let the patient go outside and get lost.
How to find a balance between nursing and self-care?
Many people feel embarrassed to ask for help and that is not right. If you feel tired, call your family or friends, maybe some social or paid organization will help. Topcnaclasses.com has a lot of useful information and a list of specialized nursing services in various regions. Talking about self-care, try to maintain the usual standard of living: eat well, exercise, meet with friends and don’t forget about hobbies. Make sure your take your own medical examinations on a regular basis.
How to cope with stress?
It is quite normal for a person caring for the sick to experience emotional burnouts. Remind yourself that you are doing everything you can and that it is impossible to control absolutely everything. Look for the information about the disease in order to understand what to expect and how to get prepared for it. Live for today and try to find positive moments in it. Psychologists and psychotherapists might help you to cope with anxiety and other manifestations of stress if it will be necessary.