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Alzheimer’s Disease: 4 Helpful Tips when Caring for a Family Member

 



Caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease can be uncharted territory for most people. There is quite a lot to learn and adapt to when caring for your parent with this disease including safety precautions, behavior changes, medication management and more. Each Alzheimer’s journey is unique, and not everybody has a schedule that can accommodate caring for an elderly parent with Alzheimer’s—especially with other personal responsibilities such as work and family obligations.


We have complied some helpful hints and tips that may be of use next time you have an interaction with your family member.  

 

1.        Use Memory Tools


An effective way to decrease the insidious effects of Alzheimer’s disease is sticking to using memory tools in your daily routine.

There are memory tools you can use to help your family member including:

o   Daily Diary and Journal Entry – Make it a habit to start writing in your thoughts and activities in a journal. You don’t have to wait til the end of the day to write down what occurred in the day. Its better to write down things as you are doing them or have just completed them. For example the entry could look something like this: at 1100 am – Marta came over to visit, and we played puzzle together and had lunch. 1pm – I took my medication and went to go lay down for a nap as I was a bit tired after the visit.

  • Calendars: Place a large calendar in a common area and write important appointments

 

2.        Safe Clean Home Environment


Safety is the top priority for people living with Alzheimer’s as it inevitably will affect a person’s ability to problem solve and use judgement/logic in some situations. For example, your parent made a cup of tea, but forgot to turn of the stove. The goal is always to reduce the risk of personal injury when creating a safe environment.

-       Fire safety – Always have a fire extinguisher within sight in the home. Hide candles. Check the smoke alarms periodically to be in good working order. Unplug toaster ovens, safety ranges/stove tops should be in use.

-       Removing and locking up toxic and dangerous items and solutions – Child locks on cupboard for items like cleaning supplies, heavy duty tools. A medication lock box with a key or code could be used for use by a primary caregiver who would be responsible medications.

-       Clean, cluttered free home – Whenever possible try to eliminate the amount of clutter in the home. Replace old rugs that could be a tripping hazard. Grab bars in the bathroom near the toilet and the shower help with stabilizing people when navigating a slippery environment.

 

3.        Daily Light Exercise


Exercise for brain health has been studied extensively and shown to improve also the cardiovascular health. It helps to alleviate symptoms of depressions and improve mood. Improved muscle tone and bone strength is associated with those that do daily exercise. Don’t overthink exercise, it can even be a 5 to 10 minute walk outside to reap some of these benefits.

-       Get outside: Getting outside for a walk is a terrific way to boost mood and get the blood pumping with fresh oxygen. 5 to 10 minutes outside is a great way to start off.

-       TV and internet exercise follow along – There are so many great resources on the internet for free these days. Type in senior follow along exercise in You tube and you will be bombarded with many new and exciting follow along exercises you can do in the comfort of your home.

 

4.        Provide a Healthy Diet


A heart healthy diet has also been shown to be beneficial to the brain health. Foods high in healthy fats and balanced meals should be encouraged instead of the SAD diet (Standard American Diet). Unfortunately, the SAD diet has been linked to many of the common ailments we are plagued with today. We can significantly reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by incorporating foods that are low in saturated fats, and increase leafy greens and oily fish.

- Limit Processed foods: These should be given seldom and reserved for special occasions. We don’t want to stock up these in the cupboard as they can be very addictive and an easy option when there isn’t anything else to eat.

-       Heart-healthy options: Healthy oils such as avocado oils and olive oil. Greens and dark greens, all types of fruits and veggies, protein and healthy grains.

-       Water intake: encourage water throughout the day. Wake up and start the morning with 8 ounces of water. Try to sip water though out the day. Proper hydration helps with clear thinking and reducing brain fog, all the while reducing built up toxins in the body.


 Get in touch with our Care Team to learn more about Modern Day Home Health Care at 778-539-5300

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