Count to 66. By the time that you’re finished, someone else in the U.S. will have developed Alzheimer’s. It can be incredibly difficult to watch your loved one suffer from this disease, but you don’t have to sit on the sidelines doing nothing. If you’re looking to help a relative with their Alzheimer’s, here are just a few suggestions for making their life easier.
Engage Their Brain
Studies have shown that stimulating cognitive activity in Alzheimer’s patients can help to slow their mental decline. Whether it’s reading a book or putting together a puzzle, making your loved one plan, build, create and learn can help them to hold onto their cognitive abilities longer than patients who aren’t mentally engaged. There are even special games and activities that you can buy for Alzheimer’s patients specifically.
Get Them Out of the House
Social isolation is common among senior citizens in general, but it’s especially true for Alzheimer’s patients. You can make your loved one’s day by checking them out of the nursing home and letting them get some fresh air and interaction with others. Even if it’s just taking a walk in the park or supervising them during a doctor’s appointment, it can be a big psychological boost to be out in the world again.
Help Your Family Understand Alzheimer’s
This is especially important if the kids will be spending a lot of time with grandma. You don’t want them to upset or confuse her with questions about her condition, so make sure that they’re getting all of their information from you. Give them accurate facts and figures about Alzheimer’s, and make your explanations age-appropriate so that your children can parse the knowledge in a way that makes sense to them.
Take a Walk Down Memory Lane
Ask about old family stories. Go over scrapbooks and photo albums together. Put together a family tree with every relative that they can remember. Not only will you stimulate their brain by bringing these memories and connections to the forefront of their thoughts, but you’ll also build happy memories together as you laugh about silly childhood antics and bad high school haircuts. These will be the days that you remember in the end.
These are just a few tips for helping a relative with Alzheimer’s. If you see that your relative’s condition is no longer manageable for you, consider getting professional care assistance, such as with Baywood Home Care. While you can’t stop the progression of the disease, you can lessen its impact on your loved one’s everyday life. That’s something worth striving for and something that can mean the world to both of you.