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Tips for a First-Time Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Being an Alzheimer’s caregiver in Philadelphia for a senior loved one can be challenging, especially if you have no prior experience. However, with time and the right attitude, your dedication to caregiving may help promote your loved one’s quality of life. Here are a few tips to help you become a successful Alzheimer’s caregiver.

Communicate Effectively

While you may not yet know how to effectively care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, you can learn. You will need to start by always setting a positive environment for interaction. Your attitude and body language may be a stronger way to communicate your feelings than words. When speaking with your loved one, be sure to state your words clearly and limit distractions such as televisions, radios, and cell phones. Always ask your loved one simple, easy-to-answer questions. Whenever a conversation causes your loved one to become upset, change the subject immediately and try to distract him or her. Suggest going for a walk or out to eat.

Make Your Presence Known

By approaching your loved one slowly and from the front, you are giving him or her time to become aware of your presence. Approaching from the back can cause him or her to have anxiety. To make your loved one feel less threatened, crouch down if he or she is seated or lying down. If your loved one is standing up, stand by his or her side, as this stance may feel less confrontational than facing him or her head on.

Encourage Cooperation

Cooperation is vital when caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease. As a first-time caregiver, you will need to know the best ways to get your loved one to cooperate. This can help you provide the best care possible and ensure your loved one feels safe, respected, and loved.

For the best cooperation from your loved one with Alzheimer’s, you will need to:

  • Practice a positive approach

  • Make sure your instructions are short, concrete, and simple

  • Give simple choices instead of always requesting an answer

  • Ask your loved one what he or she needs

Take Care of Yourself

First-time Alzheimer’s caregivers have many responsibilities and challenges. This may cause you to neglect taking care of your own needs. Therefore, you will need to make sure you eat well, get enough rest, and maintain your overall health so you can provide adequate care for your loved one. Some things you should consider doing include:

  • Asking family and friends for help

  • Taking time to go to the movies, for a walk, or out to dinner with other adults

  • Joining support groups to communicate with other dementia caregivers in Philadelphia

  • Hiring respite care

Without the proper training, it may be difficult to provide the care your loved one needs and deserves. A professional Alzheimer’s caregiver can step in to help. For at-home care Philadelphia families trust, turn to Home Care Assistance. All of our caregivers are trained in the revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method, an activities-based program that helps seniors with memory-related conditions build new routines and regain a sense of pride and accomplishment. For more information on our senior care services, please call one of our Care Managers at (215) 645.4663 or (484) 643.4663 to schedule a complimentary consultation.