How to Deal with a Parent Who Has Alzheimer's?

Alzheimer’s is hard to handle for the sufferer and their family members. If you are dealing with a loved one’s diagnosis, here are some helpful ways to handle what may come at you down the road.

It won’t be easy to care for someone with this disease. In fact it takes a team of individuals, both family and medical professionals, to provide total care for an individual with Alzheimer’s. But, you can do it and find it rewarding to be there for someone you love in their time of need.

1. Find out all the information you can. Knowledge is power. Accompany your family member to the doctor for testing and after the diagnosis. Ask as many questions as you need to of the medical staff so that you know what to expect and your options for getting help. Doctors can offer information about support groups and other resources.

2. Contact social services. Your family member will need help getting medication, home care (if you opt for that) and other living resources. Social services can help you find the assistance that you need.

3. Exhibit patience. At first, things may run smoothly. But, in time, there will be periods of confusion, hallucinations and worse that your loved one will experience. You may have to tell them the same thing each day. Getting frustrated will only make things worse. Taking the time to help them will keep the situation calm and them too.

4. Develop a routine. This will slow the agitation. Doing the same things each day can provide a bit of comfort.

5. Remove dangerous objects from their vicinity. In their wanderings or less than lucid moments, Alzheimer’s sufferers can be a danger to themselves. Locking drawers with sharp knives, removing weapons from the house and locking doors can prevent falls and other potentially fatal accidents.

6. Share duties with other family members. You can get tired when caring for someone else. Having others to hand off to will be important. Everyone shares in the process so no one gets burned out. You can divide your time by days or into shifts each day.

7. Talk to your loved one. In an effort not to deal with the situation at hand, some people avoid their loved one. While they are lucid and still able to remember you, talk to them. Reminisce about old times or talk about family. Take every opportunity to make an impact on their life.

Caring for an Alzheimer’s patient is a daily affair. At first it may involve helping them to downsize but eventually it will evolve into doing everything for them. These tips help to make the process simpler and even rewarding for both you and your loved one.