Alzheimer’s Caregivers Charlotte
As Alzheimer’s Disease progresses, the daily stress on the primary caregiver can start to take its toll. Considering practical survival tips for the caregiver will save hours of frustration and stress. And, remember, you are not alone. In the U.S. there are about 15 million people caring for someone who has cognitive impairment.
Caregiving can become an all-consuming endeavor. As your loved ones cognitive, physical and functional abilities deteriorates over time, it is easy to become overwhelmed and neglect your own well-being and health. The burden of caregiving can put you at increased risk for significant health problems and an estimated 30 to 40 percent of dementia caregivers will experience depression, high levels of stress, or burnout.
Almost all caregivers at one time or another will experience loneliness, despair and/or depression.
Tips for Making the Caregiving Job Easier
1. Schedule wisely
Routines are comforting. Establish a routine that is less confusing and agitating. Schedule appointments during the time of the day when a loved one has the most energy. Allow some flexibility for spontaneity.
2. Take your time
3. Involve the person
4. Provide Choices
5. Provide simple instructions
6. Reduce distractions
7. Remain flexible
Create a Safe Environment
- Get locks. Install locks on cabinets that contain poisons or anything dangerous.
- Unhook the stove. Many loved ones should not be cooking as it is too dangerous. Again, this will depend on the stage of dementia the loved one is in and the limitations that need to be imposed for safety purposes.
- Prevent falls. Pick up throw rugs and clutter.
- Take fire precautions. Put matches and lighters away and out of sight.
- Check water temperature and lower it at the water heater if necessary.
Having a plan and keeping life simple goes a long way towards being a stress-free caregiver.