Five Mistakes To Avoid When Caring For Alzheimer's Patients

Posted on: 22 December 2015


Caring for an Alzheimer's patient is a challenging and sometimes heart-wrenching experience. This is especially true if you are caring for a parent or loved one. You'll need to fortify yourself with knowledge and awareness to stand up to the challenge of giving an Alzheimer's patient the best possible care. Being aware of the following commonly made mistakes is a good start to educating yourself regarding Alzheimer's care. 

1. Doing everything for the Alzheimer's patient

Alzheimer's patients will gradually lose the ability to manage their own affairs and handle personal care tasks. However, this doesn't mean you should completely take over all aspects of your Alzheimer's patient's life immediately after diagnosis. 

Allow your patient to handle as much as he or she can so that the patient still maintains a feeling of independence and accomplishment. 

2. Not putting enough thought into scheduling care tasks

Those who provide care to an Alzheimer's patient -- especially a patient with an advanced case of the condition --often feel overwhelmed and too busy to handle all of the tasks they need to accomplish. 

Setting a schedule that you stick to every day is a good way to make sure that all of the patient's personal care tasks are attended to. Regularly scheduling tasks and activities can also help patients to cope with the memory loss and confusion they may be experiencing due to their Alzheimer's. 

3. Trying to tackle to task alone

Working with an Alzheimer's patient requires help and support. Make sure you've always got others available to contribute to providing care.

Also, communicate freely with some valued confidantes and ask for advice. Getting stress, worry, and uncertainty off your chest can help you approach the challenges of Alzheimer's with a clear head and sound judgement. 

4. Having unrealistic expectations

It's always good to be optimistic about the potential achievements of your Alzheimer's patient. However, it's also important to be realistic. Alzheimer's is a progressive disease that can be expected to slowly get worse. 

Regardless of any therapy or medications that are offered to Alzheimer's patient, symptoms will become increasingly more prominent over time. Handle the challenges with hope and good humor so that you don't let the terminal nature of the condition leave you feeling helpless.  

5. Neglecting to cherish the good moments

It's important to enjoy an Alzheimer patient's good moments, because they'll eventually be followed by a worsening of symptoms.

Make sure you're taking advantage of all of your Alzheimer patient's capabilities and potentials while they last. Capture special events in the Alzheimer's patient's life with photos and videos so that they can be relived by those whose lives have been touched by the patient. If you are overwhelmed with the task, a professional with experience in personal care services can help.