At some point in your life, somebody you know may become touched by Alzheimer’s disease. And if it’s a best friend or family member, there are many ways you can show your support of the Alzheimer’s patient and the caregiver. Alzheimer’s can be an isolating illness, but with your assistance and support, it does not need to be.
We have listed below some helpful tips and strategies you can use to touch the life of the caregiver, as well as the patient with the illness. Do not completely avoid the person in your life with Alzheimer’s disease. Go visit them and let them know they are on your mind. Talk with the caregiver and see when the best times are to visit. Often, Alzheimer’s sufferers could be more refreshed in the mornings or after an afternoon snooze.
Making them tired exacerbates the symptoms of the illness. Patience and a friendly ear are crucial in your visit. If they’re still comparatively coherent, they might need to unburden themselves to a caring person. Be ready to say why you are visiting them if they don’t recognize you. Often you’ll have to do that many times in the course of your stay.
Talk using short and simple sentences. Use body movements like hand gestures to make a point in conversation. While they might fail to understand some of the words you say, plenty can still translate body language up to a point. And permit the Alzheimer’s patient lots of time to answer questions or make conversation. Do not feel shy about prompting them with a word or two if their train of thought appears to wander.
Laugh and reminisce about past times that you will have shared together. They may not remember the situation, but they can actually enjoy the story! Dig out picture albums and talk about the people and places in the pictures. Share an activity if it is a craft or a walk in the park or grabbing an ice cream cone. Most of all, hugs and grins can break through the barriers that sometimes words can’t.
Supporting the caregiver is also vital. Dealing with someone who has an illness can be isolating and they’d feel completely alone without support. Throw them a lifeline and listen. Sit down with a cup of tea and let them talk to you. Help them with errands. If you’re at the store, give them a call and see whether they need anything. Ask if you can help round the house, whether or not it’s cutting the grass or cooking a meal. Offer to sit with their loved one troubled with Alzheimer’s so they can go do something for themselves. Having alone time is needed for emotional well-being and they’ll definitely need the break. Giving them the gift of time works wonders and they can come back to their role as caregiver with added enthusiasm.
Most significantly, stay in touch, particularly if you do not live close to them. A telephone call or letter does wonders in helping the caregiver feel less isolated from the rest of the world.