When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, family members would tend to keep them in their care in order to have a more hands-on approach to looking after their loved ones. While we recommend placing loved ones in a memory care community like at Discovery Village At Alliance Town Center as we have the proper resources and experiences, we understand why family members may prefer their loved ones continue to stay at home. If this is the case, it’s important to know that each day brings in new challenges while you take care of your loved ones. Before we state the factors of Alzheimer’s care, we’ll like to stress that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Each and every loved one is different and has varying needs and expectations.
In terms of daily responsibilities, most loved ones who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease would face difficulties in showering and bathing themselves. As the bathroom is one of the most dangerous areas in the living environment, you or your family members should follow the steps listed below in order to lower the risk of injuries.
- Before escorting your loved ones to the bathroom, have all the necessary products prepared. These products can be bath products, towels, brushes, and any assistive devices your loved ones use. If your loved ones are bathing, have the bathtub ready in time.
- Pay attention to the temperature of both the water and room. In a colder climate, warm up the bathroom. The water should not be too hot or cold, so do test it out with your hands.
- It’s highly recommended to install grab bars and place anti-slip bath mats around the bathroom. This is to provide additional support for your loved ones.
- If your loved ones do not have an active lifestyle, they can skip baths on some days and go with a simple sponge bath.
Getting Dressed and Other Grooming Needs
Like bathing, grooming becomes a hurdle for loved ones with Alzheimer’s. As your loved ones’ physical and cognitive health start to decline, they have a much harder time knowing which appropriate clothes to wear and how to put on shoes. These experiences can be extremely disheartening, so you and your family members should allow loved ones to feel a sense of control and freedom while making sure they get the job done at the same time.
- If your loved ones have an outing or appointment to go to, try to set extra time for them to get dressed as independently as possible.
- Since too many options can cause loved ones to feel overwhelmed, you can select a bunch of outfits first before allowing them to choose their preferred one. It’s important to keep the closet organized and clutter-free.
- Clothing pieces should be lightweight, easy to put on and take off, and of course, comfortable. Avoid those pieces with buttons, zippers, and laces as they can cause a struggle.
Arguably, the most important factor to look into is the living space. You can create a more safe and secure living environment for your loved ones with these few methods:
- Remove locks on all doors, including the bathroom.
- Keep sharp and dangerous objects such as knives, scissors, matches, lighters, and other hazardous items away from easy reach.
- Ensure the house is clutter-free at all times.
Consider installing an emergency call system in the house.