May 20, 2010

Tips for Caregivers

The following is taken from the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Caregivers Newsletter. It is useful information.

"Consider practical tips to help your loved one maintain comfort and dignity as he or she becomes more dependent on you or other caregivers.

Reduce frustrations
A person who has Alzheimer's may react with frustration, agitation and even aggression when once-automatic tasks become difficult or impossible. To limit challenges and ease frustration:

■Schedule wisely. Establish a routine to make each day more predictable and less confusing. Schedule the most difficult tasks, such as bathing or medical appointments, for the time of day when your loved one tends to be most calm and agreeable.
■Take your time. Expect things to take longer than they used to. Schedule more time to complete even simple tasks so that you don't need to hurry your loved one.
■Involve your loved one. Allow your loved one to do as much as possible with the least amount of assistance. For example, perhaps your loved one can dress alone if you lay out the clothes in the order they go on.
■Limit choices. The fewer the options, the easier it is to decide. For example, provide two outfits to choose between — not a closet full of clothes.
■Provide simple instructions. When you ask your loved one to do something, do it one step at a time.
■Reduce distractions. Turn off the TV and minimize other distractions at mealtime and during conversations so that your loved one can better focus on the task at hand."

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