Visiting Angels, the nation’s leading in-home senior care provider with offices in our area, trains caregivers to aid patients battling dementia while helping families cope with the ugly, terminal illness.
Visiting Angels caregivers provide around the clock care for many local families. They know how to calmly and patiently speak with Alzheimer’s patients. Caregivers also become constant companions, helping patients with simple life tasks that become more complicated as the disease progresses.
How to Deal with a Loved One with Dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease
Communicate with patient
- Choose simple words, a gentle calm tone of voice.
- Don’t talk to Alzheimer’s patient like a baby.
- Allow enough time for patient to respond, be careful not to interrupt.
Proper bathing, dressing of patient
- Be consistent. Try to develop a routine.
- Remember, bathing is scary and uncomfortable for some people with Alzheimer’s. Be gentle and respectful.
- Tell the person what you are going to do, step by step.
Helping patient eat
- Some Alzheimer’s patients want to eat all of the time, while others struggle to keep up a healthy diet. Always encourage plenty of fluids throughout day to avoid dehydration.
- Try to be patient during mealtime, avoid rushing, be sensitive to confusion and anxiety.
- Maintain mealtime routines, but adapt to the person’s changing needs. Serve small portions or small meals throughout the day.
Watch for signs of disease progression
- Certain tasks, like holding a fork or reading, become more difficult.
- Patient loses awareness of recent experiences as well as of their surroundings.
- Person with dementia becomes vulnerable to infections, especially pneumonia.