Alzheimer's Disease Patient Caregiver Guide (cont.)
In this Article
- Tips for caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease
- Dealing with the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease
- Communicating with a person with Alzheimer's disease
- Bathing a person with Alzheimer's disease
- Dressing a person with Alzheimer's disease
- Eating: getting a person with Alzheimer's disease to eat
- Activities for a person with Alzheimer's disease
- Exercise for a person with Alzheimer's disease
- Incontinence in a person with Alzheimer's disease
- Sleep problems for caregivers and a person with Alzheimer's disease
- Hallucinations and delusions in a person with Alzheimer's disease
- Wandering: a problem for a person with Alzheimer's disease
- Home safety for a person with Alzheimer's disease
- Driving: decisions for a person with Alzheimer's disease
- Visiting the doctor with a person with Alzheimer's disease
- Coping with holidays with a person with Alzheimer's disease
- Visiting a person with Alzheimer's disease
- Choosing a nursing home for a person with Alzheimer's disease
- For more information about Alzheimer's disease
- Find a local Geriatrician in your town
Communicating with a Person with Alzheimer's Disease
Trying to communicate with a person who has Alzheimer's disease can be a challenge. Both understanding and being understood may be difficult.
- Choose simple words and short sentences and use a gentle, calm tone of voice.
- Avoid talking to the person with Alzheimer's like a baby or talking about the person as if he or she weren't there.
- Minimize distractions and noise—such as the television or radio—to help the person focus on what you are saying.
- Make eye contact and call the person by name, making sure you have his or her attention before speaking.
- Allow enough time for a response. Be careful not to interrupt.
- If the person with Alzheimer's is struggling to find a word or communicate a thought, gently try to provide the word he or she is looking for.
- Try to frame questions and instructions in a positive way.
- Be open to the person's concerns, even if he or she is hard to understand.
Bathing a Person with Alzheimer's Disease
While some people with Alzheimer's disease don't mind bathing, for others it is a frightening, confusing experience. Advance planning can help make bath time better for both of you.
- Plan the bath or shower for the time of day when the person is most calm and agreeable. Be consistent. Try to develop a routine.
- Respect the fact that bathing is scary and uncomfortable for some people with Alzheimer's. Be gentle and respectful. Be patient and calm.
- Tell the person what you are going to do, step by step, and allow him or her to do as much as possible.
- Prepare in advance. Make sure you have everything you need ready and in the bathroom before beginning. Draw the bath ahead of time.
- Be sensitive to the temperature. Warm up the room beforehand if necessary and keep extra towels and a robe nearby. Test the water temperature before beginning the bath or shower.
- Minimize safety risks by using a handheld showerhead, shower bench, grab bars, and nonskid bath mats. Never leave the person alone in the bath or shower.
- Try a sponge bath. Bathing may not be necessary every day. A sponge bath can be effective between showers or baths.
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