There are around 6.2 million individuals who are 65 or older who currently live with Alzheimer’s. And, with the growth in the aging population, this number will increase quickly over the next several years. In fact, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that by the year 2025, there could be up to 7 million seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s care offered by Serenity Home Care in the Beaverton, OR, area is different from other forms of care. Tasks and responsibilities that were once easy may become harder with the progression of the disease. It gradually destroys a person’s cognitive thinking skills and their ability to perform routine tasks. Because of this, Alzheimer’s care takes real awareness and caregivers must be aware of all things they can do to manage their client’s unique needs. Below are some Alzheimer’s care tips caregivers can take into consideration to help support their Alzheimer’s clients more efficiently.
Create a Safe Environment for Day-to-Day Living
New caregivers must recognize that activities of day-to-day living won’t be as simple for clients with Alzheimer’s. To create a safe living environment, caregivers need to take certain precautions around the client’s home to protect them from any potential injuries or accidents.
Some day-to-day living precautions caregivers should consider include:
Ensure the Client’s Living Spaces Are Well Lit
In order to reduce confusion or the chance of accidents, Alzheimer’s clients should be able to see where they’re going at all times, even if they’re only moving a few steps. As a caregiver, it’s your responsibility to ensure your client’s living area is well-lit to help reduce the chances of them sustaining an injury from a fall or other mishap.
Keep Windows and Doors Locked
All windows and doors that lead to the outdoors should be locked. Sometimes, individuals with Alzheimer’s will wander off because they get urges to find something familiar (i.e. places in their past, for instance, where they grew up or worked). It’s essential you secure all exits and entrances of their home.
Keep Chemicals Out of Reach
It’s not uncommon for clients with Alzheimer’s to drink cleaning products or other chemicals because they think they’re beverages. You’re responsible for keeping cleaning products and other chemicals out of your client’s sight and reach.
Take Steps to Slow Down Symptom Progression
While there are treatments for certain symptoms, the most effective weapon to help slow the progression of the disease is lifestyle changes. Some steps that will help improve your client’s brain health and help slow down the deterioration process include:
- Eating healthy
- Managing stress
- Sleeping well
- Staying socially and mentally active
You also can help counter the stress that comes along with caregiving and set good examples by making healthy lifestyle choices yourself.
Keep Them Comfortable
Some clients can suffer a lack of mobility in their later Alzheimer’s stages. Because of this, they may be chair-bound or bedridden. To ensure they stay comfortable, some services you can provide include:
- Caring for their fragile skin. You should always use mild soap on your client’s skin. Don’t rub their skin, but instead carefully blot it with a soft cloth to dry it and apply a gentle moisturizer after.
- Turning your immobile clients every couple of hours. To reduce the risk of pressure injuries, contractures, or sores, it’s important that you follow a consistent schedule for turning your clients every couple of hours. Set an alarm so you don’t forget.
- Pay attention to all details — big or small. It can be challenging to provide excellent Alzheimer’s care to your clients, but you need to keep them as comfortable as you can. Minor things such as the temperature of the room can have a huge impact on the way they feel.
Remember, your clients count on you for their comfort and most other things, especially when they’re immobile.
Focus on Providing Individualized Alzheimer’s Care
Each client with this disease will have a different experience with the progression of the disease and its symptoms. Tailor your care to meet your client’s individual needs. Flexibility, patience, and your own self-care can go a long way when dealing with the frustrations and challenges of client Alzheimer’s care.
Trust Alzheimer’s Care From Serenity Home Care
Whether you’re a caregiver looking for a great opportunity to put your caregiving skills and experience to work or you’re seeking Alzheimer’s care for a loved one, consider Serenity Home Care in Beaverton, OR. We are a comprehensive, family-owned home care agency licensed by the Oregon Health Authority. We serve the greater Portland area with in-home care services. This includes the Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. We come to the client’s home so they can stay comfortable, safe, and independent. We’ll begin by taking an in-home assessment to help us get to know the client and their family. We’ll then customize an in-home program that suits their needs. Contact us today at 503-217-2834 to learn more about our in-home caregiver services and how we can help you.