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
Dressing a Person with Alzheimer's Disease
For someone who has Alzheimer's, getting dressed presents a series of challenges: choosing what to wear, getting some clothes off and other clothes on, and struggling with buttons and zippers. Minimizing the challenges may make a difference.
- Try to have the person get dressed at the same time each day so he or she will come to expect it as part of the daily routine.
- Encourage the person to dress himself or herself to whatever degree possible. Plan to allow extra time so there is no pressure or rush.
- Allow the person to choose from a limited selection of outfits. If he or she has a favorite outfit, consider buying several identical sets.
- Store some clothes in another room to reduce the number of choices. Keep only one or two outfits in the closet or dresser.
- Arrange the clothes in the order they are to be put on to help the person move through the process.
- Hand the person one item at a time or give clear, step-by-step instructions if the person needs prompting.
- Choose clothing that is comfortable, easy to get on and off, and easy to care for. Elastic waists and Velcro® enclosures minimize struggles with buttons and zippers.
Eating: Getting a Person with Alzheimer's Disease to Eat
Eating can be a challenge. Some people with Alzheimer's disease want to eat all the time, while others have to be encouraged to maintain a good diet.
- View mealtimes as opportunities for social interaction and success for the person with Alzheimer's. Try to be patient and avoid rushing, and be sensitive to confusion and anxiety.
- Aim for a quiet, calm, reassuring mealtime atmosphere by limiting noise and other distractions.
- Maintain familiar mealtime routines, but adapt to the person's changing needs.
- Give the person food choices, but limit the number of choices. Try to offer appealing foods that have familiar flavors, varied textures, and different colors.
- Serve small portions or several small meals throughout the day. Make healthy snacks, finger foods, and shakes available. In the earlier stages of dementia, be aware of the possibility of overeating.
- Choose dishes and eating tools that promote independence. If the person has trouble using utensils, use a bowl instead of a plate, or offer utensils with large or built-up handles. Use straws or cups with lids to make drinking easier.
- Encourage the person to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to avoid dehydration.
- As the disease progresses, be aware of the increased risk of choking because of chewing and swallowing problems.
- Maintain routine dental checkups and daily oral health care to keep the mouth and teeth healthy.
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