If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, and require support, you’re not alone. It is estimated that 1 in 9 people (10.7%) age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s disease.  While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for caregiving, there are some things that all caregivers can do to make the journey a little easier. Here are some tips for families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease.

Education is key
The first step in providing care and support for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is to educate yourself about the condition. Learning about what to expect can help you better deal with the challenges that come with the disease. Many resources are available, including books, websites, and Alzheimer’s support groups, which are also hosted at Livewell Estates.

Be patient
Alzheimer’s disease can be frustrating for both caregivers and patients. One of the most important things you can do is to be patient. Try to see things from your loved one’s perspective and understand that they are not deliberately trying to anger or frustrate you. It can be helpful to take a break if you feel yourself getting angry or upset. Remember, you are not alone in this; other people understand what you’re going through. If you feel overwhelmed or frustrated, consider joining our monthly support groups. You can also talk to your doctor if you need help dealing with your emotions.

Communicate effectively
As the disease progresses, your loved one may have difficulty communicating their needs. It’s important to try to communicate effectively, even when it’s difficult. Listen carefully, use short and simple sentences, and avoid correcting or arguing with them. If possible, ask open-ended questions that require more than a yes or no answer. For example, instead of asking, “Did you take your medication?” try asking, “What did you do today?” This will allow them to share their experiences with you and help you better understand what they are going through.

Dealing with Alzheimer’s disease can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Many resources are available to help you deal with the challenges of caregiving. Educate yourself about the condition to better understand what to expect. Be patient with your loved one and try to communicate effectively. Seek support from other caregivers if you need it. With patience and understanding, you can provide the best care for your loved one during this difficult time. It’s also important that you recognise the signs of caregiver burnout. Exploring options such as a specialised Alzheimer’s care facility like Livewell shouldn’t make you feel guilty. It’s a place where your loved one can receive the best possible care whilst you take of your needs.