How can we care for people with Alzheimer's?
Although the NHS explain that social services can help with many aspects of supporting people living with Alzheimer's disease, there are also things we can all do.
Communicating with someone with Alzheimer's disease
The NHS have some tips for communicating with someone with Alzheimer’s disease, which state that you should:
- Speak clearly and slowly
- Make eye contact
- Give them time to respond
- Let them speak for themselves
- Try not to patronise them, or ridicule what they say
- Acknowledge what they’ve said, even if what they’ve said seems out of context
- Give them simple choices
- Be patient and calm
- Be positive and friendly
- Minimise distractions, such as having the TV or radio on
Letting someone with Alzheimer's disease help with everyday tasks
The NHS say that you should let your loved one help with everyday tasks, such as:
- Laying the table
- Taking the dog for a walk
Making your home dementia-friendlyThere is also NHS guidance on making your home 'dementia friendly'. Putting memory aids, such as labels and signs, around the home can also help the person remember where things are, which can ensure they maintain their independence. It is also important that your home has:
- Good lighting
- Low excess noise
- Safe flooring
- Contrasting colours
- Few reflective surfaces
- Dementia-friendly household items
Encouraging someone with Alzheimer's disease to eat and drink
- Setting aside enough time for meals
- Offering food you know they like in smaller portions
- Providing 'finger foods'
- Offer fluids in a cup that’s easy to hold
I've listed resources for some other tips on how to help care for someone living with Alzheimer's disease below:
- Using the toilet: NHS and Alzheimer's Society
- Washing and bathing: NHS and Alzheimer's Society
- Sleeping: NHS and Alzheimer's Society
Do you have any ideas on how we could change our attitudes and behaviours so that we’re more welcoming and accommodating of people with Alzheimer's disease?
Do you have any experience of caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease?Read next: What is Alzheimer's?, Is Alzheimer's disease a disability?, and Is there hope for the future?
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