According to ALZ.ORG:
- More than 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s today.
- Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
- 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
- In 2012, 15.4 million caregivers provided more than 17.5 billion hours of unpaid care valued at $216 billion.
- Nearly 15% of caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia are long-distance caregivers.
- In 2013, Alzheimer’s will cost the nation $203 billion. This number is expected to rise to $1.2 trillion by 2050.
Alzheimer’s caregiving takes patience and flexibility. An increasing number of caregivers are deepening their knowledge of the disease to better care for their clients and family members. Consider these tips for daily tasks:
1.) Reduce frustrations
- Schedule – A routine will help with predictability and provide less confusion.
- Time – Know that each task will take longer than it used to.
- Keep them involved – Allow them to help as much as they can.
- Limit choices – Fewer options = easier to decide
- Instructions – Provide simple instructions one step at a time.
- Reduce Distractions – Limit outside noise and movement so they can focus on the task at hand.
2.) Be flexible
Even when putting everything on the list above into place, one’s ability to function and cope will steadily decline. It might even vary from day to day. Try to stay flexible and adapt your routine as needed. Keep it simple.
3.) Create a safe environment
- Prevent Falls – Look for things around the house that could cause someone to trip or fall.
- Use Locks – Install locks on any cabinets that contain something potentially dangerous.
- Check water temperature – Lower the thermostat on the hot-water heater to prevent burns.
- Fire Safety Precautions – Keep matches and lighters out of reach.
4.) Focus on individualized care
Each person who has Alzheimer’s will experience its symptoms and progression differently. Because of this, caregiving techniques need to vary. Keep it simple and tailor these tips to your loved one’s individual needs.
5.) Take time for yourself
According to Caring for the Caregiver (http://caringforthecaregiver.org), in the USA today, there are 44 million caregivers. They’re looking after someone who can’t fully take care of him/herself. Caregivers are magnificent and generous people, but often they stubbornly look after themselves last, very much to their detriment. In order to give the best quality of care to your client or family member, you must first take care of yourself.