When an elder has Alzheimer’s disease, it causes brain cells to die. This causes the brain to work less over time. This results in how a person acts. It can be very stressful, painful, and heartbreaking for a loved one to handle by themselves. As a home care aid, there is a need for guidance and how to ensure their loved one is safe and getting the proper care. But it isn’t easy.
Typical Personality and Behavior Changes to be Aware of
Here are a few common traits in a person to watch out for when suffering from Alzheimer’s.
- Being upset, angry, or worried more easily than before.
- Not interested in things they were interested in. Depressed.
- Hiding things from family, or believing that other people are hiding things from them.
- Seeing and imagining things that are not there.
- Pacing a lot
- Showing unusual sexual behavior
- Misunderstanding what is being seen or hears
You could also tell if the person stops caring about their appearance, stops showering, and wants to wear the same clothes every day.
Other Things That Can Affect Behavior
A few changes in the brain can affect other behavioral aspects while suffering from Alzheimer’s.
- Feeling sad, fearful, stressed, confused, or anxious.
- Other health-related issues include illnesses, pain, new medications, or lack of sleep.
- Physical issues include infections, constipation, hunger, thirst, sight issues, or hearing.
There are plenty of issues that could affect someone who has Alzheimer’s, such as too much noise. If a radio or a T.V is too loud, it could lead to frustration and confusion. Also, simple things like stepping from hardwood flooring to carpeting could set them off, or mirrors could make them think that there is another person in the room.
The Rewards of Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s
- When you bond with your elder, it deepens through care, companionship, and service.
- You will improve your problem solving and relationship skills. When building these skills, you can use what you learned for future patients.
- Developing your compassion and acceptance. This will also help with future patients.
Try and Keep Things Simple
Sadly, home care aides cannot stop Alzheimer’s-related changes in one’s personality and behaviors, but they can learn and cope with the issue at hand. Here are a few tips if you are caring for a patient who has Alzheimer’s disease.
- You have to keep things as simple as possible. Be sure to ask one thing at a time, rather than overwhelming them with questions.
- Create a daily schedule and routine. This will help with tedious tasks like bathing or personal hygiene.
- There will be a need for constant reassurance that the person is safe and there to help.
- Try and focus on the patient’s feelings, rather than words, say things like, “You seem worried.”
- Be sure not to argue with the patient or reason with them.
- Keep a calm, caring composure; try not to show anger or frustration. If you feel like you are becoming upset, take deep breaths, and count to 10. If it is safe, and the person can’t get themselves into danger, leave the room for a few minutes.
- Try and use humor when you can.
- Be sure to give your patient space if they are a pacer. You want to provide them with strong shoes. Give them snacks to eat as they walk, so they don’t lose weight from the constant exercise. Also, make sure they have enough fluids.
- Use music, singing, or dancing to distract your patient.
- Ask for assistance with small tasks, like setting the table or folding clothes.
Alzheimer’s is not a manageable disease to handle. Every day is different. Building a trusted rapport with your patient will only make things easy for you. By creating routines will only help you care for your elder even more. The most important thing is to be calm, caring, and have patience; people with Alzheimer’s can’t help but be skittish and unable to comprehend a lot of things.
You need to be understanding of their issues. It will only make your relationship with them better. TLC Homecare knows how to care for your loved ones who do suffer from Alzheimer’s. They have the knowledge and proper training to ensure that your loved one feels cared for. Alzheimer’s is not something an elder’s family can do alone. They need assistance from someone who is willing to help and show them how to handle certain situations.