Visits to the Doctor
Do you suspect that your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia? Don’t be surprised when he/she is much more lucid at the doctor’s office than you’ve observed at home.
Visits to the attorney
Planning to see an attorney with your elderly mom or dad who has some Alzheimer’s or another dementia? Make the appointment for the morning. Sundowning (late-day confusion) can raise questions about your loved one’s legal competence.
The elderly are often touch-deprived. Take a moment to reach out to them. Hugs work too.
Visiting the Beach or Pool
Stay within an arm’s length of your elderly loved ones in or around any kind of water. And, don’t forget the sunscreen!
Home Safety #1
Restrict access to your home’s swimming pool. Add a fence with a locked gate around the pool, whether it’s inside a pool cage or in the back yard. This leaves the rest of your lanai, patio or yard available for use without worrying about someone falling into the pool.
Replace Interior Door Handles
Replace the locking door handles on all interior doors (except your bedroom’s, if your loved one is living with you) to prevent him/her from getting locked inside a room.
Music your loved one enjoys can be soothing or stimulating. Download his/her favorite tunes on an iPod. If they have difficulty remembering their favorites, download songs that were popular in their late teens and twenties.
60% of dementia patients WILL wander. Make plans to keep your loved one safe before that happens!
Encourage your loved one to express his/her thoughts even if they are having difficulty. Use simple phrasing and short sentences. Be patient. Be mindful not to interrupt.
Maintain a calm, soothing environment for your loved one. Keep your daily regime as consistent as possible. Even slight changes can be upsetting.
How would you feel if you were always told what to do and what not do? Next time, pause and ask your loved one for his/her input.
Don’t leave someone with Alzheimer’s disease alone in a parked car. Your loved one and your car may be gone when you return.
Cover all unused electric outlets with childproof plugs.
Keep plastic bags out of reach. A person with Alzheimers may choke or suffocate. This includes dry cleaning bags.
Feeling guilty about what you cannot do may keep you from doing what you can.
If your loved one has Alzheimer’s, make sure he/she always wears an ID bracelet with your phone number.
Avoiding Burns in Bed
Use a polar fleece blanket, not an electric blanket, for an elderly person with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
When Roles Reverse
Parenting a parent doesn’t work. Guiding a parent to good decisions does.
Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself does not mean you are neglecting your caregiving duties.
Now, It’s Your Turn!
What tips do you have for other caregivers? Please leave your comments below.