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Understanding the Dos and Don’ts of Alzheimer’s Care

By Mark Silvanic, 9:00 am on

As the cognitive impairment of Alzheimer’s disease progresses, seniors exhibit a wide range of emotions, which can make life as a Colorado Springs dementia or Alzheimer’s caregiver challenging. Anger, confusion, depression, fear and paranoia are some common symptoms that may lead to agitation, aggression or violence. Some strategies are very effective at handling these situations. 

Aggressive Behaviors or Speech

Do identify the reason for the behavior. Determine if the senior is trying to ask for something specific. Maybe certain actions or conversations trigger the reaction. Stay calm when your loved one becomes verbally or physically hostile. Seniors with Alzheimer’s commonly become aggressive when confused, helpless or scared. Try to determine the reason for the mood change. Diffuse the situation by changing your loved one’s focus to something else. Speak calmly and reassuringly. Some respond to a gentle touch while others need a little space. 

Don’t argue or try to contradict your loved one’s train of thought. Avoid verbal correction as this will only aggravate your loved one. What he or she is thinking is not as important as how your loved one is feeling in the moment. The behavior is not intentional, but merely a response to something else. 

Disorientation

Do help your loved one remember his or her present location, time of year and time of day when necessary. Calendars, clocks and photographs along with other personal items can be of great assistance as gentle daily reminders. 

Don’t offer long explanations or try to reason with someone who has Alzheimer’s. Otherwise, your loved one might become frustrated and angry. This is because he or she no longer can think logically. 

Daily Task Error

The decreased cognitive ability of an Alzheimer’s patient leads to self-care issues involving daily tasks that we often take for granted. When family members notice bills going unpaid, checkbook errors, medications not being taken or other abnormalities, do lovingly ask if you might lend a hand. 

Don’t make accusations or question your loved one’s ability to handle situations. Focusing the problem on the senior only serves to trigger anger and embarrassment, which leads to an unpleasant scenario.

For help caring for your loved one, turn to Home Care Assistance. We specialize in Alzheimer’s home care Colorado Springs, CO, seniors need to safely age in place with confidence. Call (719) 822-1229 today to learn about our comprehensive memory care and have an experienced Care Manager customize a unique care plan for your loved one.