As your loved one’s Alzheimer’s disease progresses, they’ll experience memory loss and confusion more often. This can be scary and frustrating for you and your loved one. While you can’t control how fast the disease progresses, you can help lessen the effects by making a few simple changes in your daily routine.
Here are some of the most effective Alzheimer’s care strategies to help lessen confusion:
Keep in mind that nonverbal communication is just as important as verbal communication. Your loved one may be relying on your facial expression or physical cues to make sense of a situation, so make sure your body language matches what you’re saying.
Listen carefully and let your loved one express their feelings. Show that you have a genuine interest in what they’re saying. If they are having trouble communicating something to you, try not to get frustrated. Instead, tell them what you’ve understood so far and ask them to let you know if you’re right. This may help refresh their memory if they’ve lost their train of thought.
You may have to change the way you speak when you’re talking to your loved one. Try speaking a little slower than normal and sticking with simple statements or questions. Do remember that you are speaking to an adult—not a child. Don’t speak in a condescending tone or use your “baby voice”.
Most importantly, give encouragement. Your loved one needs positivity in their life during this trying time. Be patient, understanding, and supportive.
Establish a Routine
Set a schedule for meals, regular activities, bedtimes, and more—and try to follow it every day. Try to keep things consistent on a day-to-day basis.
When making a plan, consider the following:
- What are your loved one’s interests?
- What times of day is your loved one at their best?
- How long do they need for meals or personal care tasks?
- What was their schedule like before the Alzheimer’s progressed?
If your loved one functions best in the early morning, try to help them get to bed early at night. Schedule the most demanding activities during the times when they’re most alert, happiest, and less likely to get frustrated.
Use Labels and Visual Cues
Your loved one may be struggling with where to find things throughout the house or where to put things away. Or they may have trouble identifying certain rooms, objects, or even people. Through labels and visual cues, you can help lessen their confusion.
Get out your label maker or pack of sticky notes and label drawers, cabinets, doors, and more. Or, if your loved one has trouble reading, use photos or drawings to help them identify what’s inside. It may seem like a tedious task to label everything in the house, but it can pay off immensely.
leave reminders and notes throughout the house. Simple reminders like “Brush your teeth before bed”, “Lock the front door”, or “Close the refrigerator” can really go a long way.
If your loved one has trouble remembering who is who, consider using name tags. Encourage any other caregivers, and anyone else visiting their home to do the same. We understand how much it can hurt when your loved one doesn’t remember your name or who you are at all times. Even if they can’t express it, just remember that deep down, they know and love you.
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can really take a toll on your mind and body. But you don’t have to carry all the weight by yourself. Let us take some of the weight off of your shoulders through personalized Alzheimer’s care. Click below to learn more about our services.