As anyone with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s and Memory Loss can tell you- it’s a family dilemma.
As memories diminish, each family member has to learn to adjust; new responsibilities arise, and emotions fuel dramatic changes in familial relationships. They carry their journeys as they grapple with their changing roles at every stage of illness. But by working together, you can make your loved one with Alzheimer or Dementia feel loved and valued.
So, how to help your loved one cope with this unsettling illness?
Well, by being informed, patient, and understanding, it is possible for family members to provide the help their loved ones need from them. You can follow the strategies below to embrace meaningful connection with your loved one despite this challenging journey.
Make Them Feel Included
Alzheimer’s patients often feel excluded or side-lined due to their mental decline and problems with communication. They might have an important job, responsibilities, and a vital role in the family; losing all of these at once can shatter self-esteem and confidence.
Therefore, family members must make them feel included, valued, and loved by everyone. You can aim to preserve a sense of purpose in their lives. For instance, ask them to help you in the kitchen, ask your grandchild to play with them in the garden, or, most importantly, listen to them and have a meaningful conversation with them whenever possible.
In this way, they will feel like they are a special member of the family that would make them cherished and happy.
Calm Agitation in a Loved One with Alzheimer
Agitation is pretty common in people living with Alzheimer’s and memory loss. According to the National Institute Of Aging, agitation means a person is worried or restless. They are not able to settle down. This can cause aggression and sleeplessness. You can detect agitation in a loved one when they start lashing out verbally or trying to hurt or hit someone.
What can you do to help?
Well, you should have a conversation with them when they are calm. Also, show validation and respect and assist them in re-focusing.
Here are some of the things you can try to calm them when they are feeling restless:
- Stop whatever you’re doing and listen to what your loved one is saying, even if it doesn’t make any sense. Also, don’t correct them. Just listen calmly! Silence will give them time to think and figure out what they are trying to say.
- Try to distract them with a favorite object, activity, or food.
- Allow them to have as much control of their life as possible.
Alzheimer’s might cause personality changes in the person, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still connect! You can go for a walk, offer a massage, listen to music together or brush their hair.
Deal With Conflicting Emotions
Feelings of grief, disbelief, frustration, anger, fear, and denial are common in the Alzheimer’s patient and you, the caregiver.
Allow your loved one to share their feelings and emotions, and then urge them to keep them engaged in things that give their lives more purpose and meaning. Find people you can confide in to help you cope with your own concerns, doubts, and grief.
Learn How to Communicate With Them
Communicating with our loved ones with Alzheimer’s can become incredibly challenging. But, with mutual understanding, one can understand how to communicate and listen to them easily.
When combined with patience and practice, the following tips can improve interactions between you and your loved one with illness:
- Reduce background noise and distractions, such as the TV or radio, to assist the listener in concentrating and comprehending what you are saying.
- Don’t interrupt them until they have had adequate time to react.
- Look for nonverbal cues and take into account their environment if you can’t grasp what they’re trying to communicate.
- Choose short and simple sentences and use a calm and gentle tone.
Keep Them Mentally Active
Mental exercise slows cognitive aging. If it’s possible, let your loved one take care of some things by themselves. This entails taking a shower, brushing their teeth, and performing housework. Additionally, you can promote puzzles and other activities like reading.
At the ‘Lenity Management Community,’ we understand the heartache that comes with seeing your loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s or memory loss. Our community was built upon our aspirations and values for our family.
Our team of caregivers offers so much more than just comfortable living for your beloved family member. We provide the whole package – dignified memory care, helpful resources, and a supportive community of compassionate people to help them go through life’s ups and downs.
Please contact us any time for a no-obligation and free chat if you’ve any inquiries related to our specialist elder and home care services.