Caregiver Tips

From financial assistance with veterans aid & attendance benefits, long term care insurance, elder care attorney referrals to learning more about memory impairment disorders from organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association, utilize our Community Relations Coordinator as a resource for helpful information. We have also compiled some helpful tips for family members who may serve as a caregiver for a loved one. While our standard caregiver’s tips for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are on this page, we routinely feature special, seasonal caregivers tips on our blog.

Hydration for Seniors with Memory Disorders

Drinking a glass of water or other liquids every couple of hours helps to prevent loss of appetite, confusion and irritability in seniors. Drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day is an easy way to prevent a multitude of symptoms. For most seniors, by the time they feel thirsty, it may take two cups of water for them to properly rehydrate their body. Outside of thirst, the signs for dehydration include

  • Dizziness
  • Dry Mouth
  • Headaches
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fever
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Increased heart rhythm
  • Dark, sunken eyes
  • Decreased urinary output

How to be a More Stress Free Caregiver

Caring for a loved one with dementia/memory impairment can be very frustrating and exhausting. Reduce frustrations for your loved one and yourself by learning a few simple tips:

Limit choices. Set out a couple of outfits for your loved one to choose from. A whole closet of clothes is confusing.

Decrease distractions. When performing a task with your loved one or eating, turn off the TV and radio and limit conversations. During a conversation with your loved one, distractions at a minimum to help them focus.

Develop routines. Keep each day as similar as possible, but be flexible. Try to schedule difficult tasks during times of the day they are the most calm. This would include anything that they resist doing, such as bathing or appointments.

Be patient. Routine tasks probably take longer now and function will begin declining.

Keep your loved one involved. Give simple instructions, in order, and do not give more than one instruction at a time. This will keep them interested and less frustrated.

A Safer Environment for Memory Impaired Seniors

As dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other memory impairment problems progress, your loved one will have more difficulty solving problems and will have impaired judgment. This increases the risk of injury. Implement the following suggestions to avoid each type of potential problem:

Burns. Keep matches and lighters out of reach. If they smoke, only allow them to do so with supervision. Make sure the temperature on the water heater is reduced to prevent water related burns.

Wandering. Make sure all doors leading to the outside of your home are secure at all times. You may need to invest in a security system that sounds an alarm when a door or window is opened, even during waking hours. Also, install locks on cabinets and drawers that hold dangerous items and chemicals.

Falls. As dementia and Alzheimer’s disease progress, many seniors become unsteady on their feet and have difficulty with depth perception. Remove throw rugs and cords that could create a fall hazard. Keep the home free of clutter, like boxes and large furniture as these can create fall hazards as well.