Dec 28, 2016 by Chris Gamble
As a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s, you’ll be faced with a unique set of challenges on a day-to-day basis. However, with the right tools, resources, and preparation, you can make life a lot easier for yourself and the person you’re caring for.
One of the keys to success when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is to appeal to each of their senses and make life as comfortable as possible. As their condition progresses, people with Alzheimer’s become more and more sensitive to their environment. Safe, familiar, and comfortable environmental factors can make all the difference.
Whether you’re caring for a loved one or you’ve made a career as a caregiver for others, here are some environmental factors to pay attention to.
As their condition progresses, someone with Alzheimer’s can become much more prone to falling down. This could be because of lowered coordination, problems with vision, confusion, or other factors. To help minimize their risks, try to create a clutter-free and obstacle-free living space. Doing so will allow your loved one/the person you’re caring for to move freely and safely around their home.
Music and sounds can be such powerful tools—especially for someone with Alzheimer’s. Soothing, happy, and/or familiar music can help in a number of different ways. Positive benefits of music may include improved mood, decreased stress, stimulated cognitive function, and more. When it comes to sounds, you also want to be careful not to overstimulate. Don’t play music too loudly, and try to minimize multiple sounds at the same time. For example: Don’t play music in one room while the TV is on in another.
Though they may not always be able to communicate as well anymore, people with Alzheimer’s can remember significant people, moments, places, and the like through photos or mementos. Try to keep reminders of some of their most important, most memorable, and happiest memories close by.
By diffusing essential oils, lighting scented candles, or other methods, you can help improve someone’s mood and well-being with just the power of smell. For example: Lavender is known as a very soothing scent and can help promote relaxation and reduce stress. Peppermint and lemon can be very energizing and help boost positivity. Your loved one or whomever you care for may respond better to some scents, so you may need to experiment a little bit before you figure out what works best for them.
Someone with Alzheimer’s is experiencing many changes in their mind and body—some of which can be downright terrifying. As a caregiver, one of the best things you can do for someone with Alzheimer’s is to be there to provide love and emotional support on a daily basis.
Contact us for more tips and information on caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. We also offer specialized Alzheimer’s and elderly care services if you need any additional support.