5 Things You Should Never Do While Caring Alzheimer’s Patient

Written by on June 4, 2013 in Health - No comments | Print this page

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Agreed, that life with a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s is difficult and very taxing. Giving in to frustration and shirking away from having anything to do with them is- understandably- a very tempting prospect.

But, to be honest, life, for both of you, would be easier if you as a caregiver just knew a few unpleasant roadblocks you should avoid while caring for an Alzheimer’s sufferer. Hopefully, these five pointers will help you in the process.

Live in denial

Yes, I know it’s a common and strong human belief that if we refuse to acknowledge the existence of a problem, it will just disappear into nothingness. But when it comes to dealing with Alzheimer’s this notion only does more harm than good.

The more you delay with the treatment, the more health issues the person is likely to face, and at a faster rate. Moreover, there’s always a possibility that what your loved one is facing, might not even be Alzheimer’s, but just another condition with similar symptoms, which is reversible.

So yes, you are going to have to grow a pair, accept the problem at hand and come up with ways to cope with it.

Ignore them

Just like denial, ignorance too isa way to shield the self from something uncomfortable and undesirable. How do you intendto get to the crux of a problem if you don’t interact with the patient?

Ignorance does no good, especially when they need your care and attention now more than ever.Plus, a person suffering of Alzheimer’s cannot be expected to take care of the situation by himself. He needs his loved and trusted ones near him to make the rest of the journey easier.

Argue all the time

Forgetting present day things and having violent mood swings are common symptoms of Alzheimer’s. This only means that a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s is frequently going to say something nonsensical, mean and offensive.

They may say things that they’ve already said a million times in the past one hour.More often than not, you’ll find them picking at you, almost asking for a loud argument. This ends up being absolutely frustrating and patience testing for you.

But the wisest thing to do here is just agree with whatever they say and then move onto something else. It won’t be long before you realize that choosing silence is actually easier than plunging headfirst into a baseless argument.

Assume they’re doing it deliberately

Doing so is a gross mistake. No, they are not picking stupid arguments with you on purpose. Nor are they forgetting your name, their age or the way home. You have to remember that they didn’t go about asking for Alzheimer’s; nobody does.

To assume that they’re being purposefully difficult would be wrong and unfair on your part. So would be taking them for granted and shrugging off every piece of information they share with you. It would be nice of you to listen to them and just blame all the unpleasantness on the Alzheimer’s.

Stop visiting

Or caring for them. Just because a loved one has forgotten your name or the relationship s/he shares with you, doesn’t mean you lose all reason to have anything to do with her/him. Hiring an in home care provider or admitting her/him to assisted living doesn’t mean the end of your responsibilities or relationship with your family member.

Yes, they may no longer know who you are, but you certainly remember who they are. It is always safe to assume that deep down they do remember you and the rest of the family, but due to their condition are just not able to say so out loud.

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This article was contributed by Jane Beamer; she is a healthcare professional with a leading family care center. She likes to indulge in blogging about her experiences and thoughts in her free time.

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