Let’s be honest. Supporting a Loved One with Alzheimer’s can be tough, frustrating, overwhelming, depressing, and even painful.
With over 5.5 billion people of all ages living with this condition in the United States, billions of caregivers need advice on how to provide Alzheimer’s support. The pressure to take good care of a loved one coupled with feeling terrible about their condition can cause severe stress.
When you start caring for a person impacted by Alzheimer’s, mistakes may seem unavoidable. Let’s talk about a few errors you should try to sidestep whenever possible.
1. Getting into Arguments
Arguing with someone who has Alzheimer’s is useless. What can you achieve by trying to prove your point? If the person is convinced that you haven’t given them breakfast, whatever you say can’t make them less hungry.
Eventually, you’ll just ruin your mood and make your loved one upset. Try to put your best agreeable act on. Many caregivers adopt the “client is always right” strategy. If you avoid the argument and make the person happy, you both win. How hard is it to make another snack, anyway?
2. Asking “Do You Remember?”
Most likely, they don’t. Memory loss is one of the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Your loved one is likely to be terribly upset over memory problems. By asking “Do you remember?”, you won’t achieve anything productive.
Assuming a person doesn’t remember is the smartest way to act. It’s much easier to say: “oh, I forgot we already talked about it” when they catch you repeating stuff than hurt their feelings by focusing on memory issues.
3. Not Taking Care of Yourself
Caregiving can take a serious toll on your physical and mental health. It’s important to take good care of yourself every day.
Your health problems can negatively affect the entire family, especially the person who relies on you the most. Do your best to stay in good shape.
4. Forgetting to Laugh
Those who are effected by Alzheimer’s often feel depressed. Their life may seem tough and hopeless. As a caregiver, you can improve the situation tremendously simply by laughing every once in a while.
A bright mood can work wonders for both of you. According to Mayo Clinic, laughter is an excellent stress reliever and an immune system booster.
5. Thinking You Should Never Get Upset
Even though you are healthy and don’t have Alzheimer’s, you are still human. Taking care of an Alzheimer’s sufferer is tough. It’s ok to get upset.
Vent your feelings to a friend. Reward yourself. Accept that being upset is normal. Bottling up your emotions won’t help anyone. Eventually, suppressed feelings may turn into health problems.
6. Avoiding Exercise
Exercising isn’t just an excellent way to stay healthy. It’s an effective stress reliever. Even if you feel tired every day, find time to give your body what it needs. Exercising is an opportunity to pamper yourself and keep your mind worry-free.
7. Preventing Self-Sufficient Behavior
Dignity is highly important to someone with Alzheimer’s. They may seem fragile, vulnerable, and child-like, but they are adults. By trying to block self-sufficient behavior, you could make your loved one feel terrible. Allow them to be as autonomous as possible unless their actions are a safety threat.
Giving Top-Notch Care While Keeping Your Sanity
Supporting a Loved One with Alzheimer’s can be difficult. By avoiding the above mistakes, you can make life easier for both of you.
If you need assistance with caring for your loved one, please contact us at any convenient time.