Health tips for people looking after someone with Alzheimer’s disease
Nowadays, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia in older people. The families of people with this illness often have to adapt to the new situation. If you are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, here are some tips:
- Wherever possible, maintain a routine
- Check that the patient is taking their medication correctly
- Respect their tastes and customs
- Ensure correct lighting, in the day and at night, of the space in which they live
- Physical contact may calm them down when they get anxious, but be careful to make sure they do not interpret it as a dominant gesture
- Avoid confrontation
- Distract them so that they focus on real things
- Stay calm and reassuring, help them to stay calm
- Adjust your language to the limitations caused by the illness. Be receptive to their attempts to communicate
- Do not argue with hallucinations and delusions. If they persist or are very serious, see a specialist
- If you notice any changes or discomfort in the patient, it is important to note that fever, dehydration, constipation, infections (urinary or respiratory) or the side effects of medications may be the cause.
- Hearing and sight tests are also important
This illness manifests itself in cognitive deterioration and behavioural disorders, resulting in a high degree of dependency. In the majority of cases, the family looks after the person and within the family, in 76% of cases, a woman is the main carer. If you are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, bear in mind these tips:
- Look after your own health. A good diet, physical exercise and visits to the doctor when needed are key
- Take time for yourself. Take time to rest
- Accept help
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