How Do Caregivers Help Patients Suffering from Alzheimer’s? Because Alzheimer’s is chronic and progressive, victims are totally dependent on others and often receive care from relations, which can be both a mental and physical burden for families. As conditions worsen and memory loss progresses, caregivers must devote more time to loved ones. Assisted living care providers can assist families with elderly loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and make a huge difference in the wellbeing of individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s. The following article discusses how caregivers can provide help. Assisted living caregivers must have patience, understanding, and experience to compassionately work with Alzheimer’s patients—many elderly care providers complete courses for accreditation in Alzheimer’s and Dementia before working with care recipients. Elderly care for Alzheimer’s patients includes carefully planning the daily schedule of a loved one to reduce stress, orientate them to reality, simplify surroundings, and avoid fatigue. Assisted living caregivers and elderly care providers specialize in providing care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, and offer the following suggestions: Reduce Stress: It’s well known that stress can worsen the symptoms of most illnesses, Alzheimer’s disease included. Take care that your loved one is protected from any potential sources of stress, including rapid routine changes, changes of surroundings, and care provided by different caregivers. Additional sources of stress include an overdose of stimuli, fatigue, and illness. Establish a Routine for Your Loved One: For elderly loved ones with Alzheimer’s, establishing a routine and keeping daily activities stable can be very comfortable because patients can relax and respond automatically. It’s important to make a schedule for your loved one’s daily care, and include any recreational activities he or she enjoys. Before sleep, establish a bedtime ritual to promote relaxation and better sleep. Stick to the daily schedule you’ve created as closely as possible, and provide copies of this schedule to any other caregivers who look after your loved one. Orient Your Loved One – Reality Orientation: It’s a good idea to remind your loved one during the day, “Good morning, it is Thursday and a beautiful spring morning. Let’s eat breakfast”. Avoid Fatigue: When planning activities, take into consideration that morning is typically the most energetic time for elders. During activities and outings, keep in mind that your loved one will need frequent breaks to re-orient himself/herself and avoid becoming overtired. Assisted living care providers know that Alzheimer’s patients lose the ability to concentrate for long periods of time, especially as the disease progresses. Schedule longer breaks with less activity if this is the case. Simplify Surroundings: If you’re planning on an outing with your senior loved one, don’t bring them to a busy and crowded environment. Avoid malls and opt for a quiet, serene space such as a park. He/she will feel more relaxed. If necessary, use illustrations to guide your loved one’s actions, for instance, place an image of a toilet on the bathroom door for clarification. Patience: Be patient with your loved one and don’t pressure them, be demanding, or expect too much. Each Alzheimer’s patient has his or her own unique set of needs, feelings, and limitations. Demanding behavior will only create stress and frustration. Provide help when necessary and reorient your loved one whenever necessary to reduce frustration. According to the Alzheimer’s Association in Chicago, 10 million American’s struggle to care for relatives and loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, and are prone to overworking themselves and possibly developing anxiety and depression. If you’re currently providing care for a loved one, learn more about assisted living caregivers and elderly care providers. They help out with household chores, assist loved ones, and provide personal care services. Experienced assisted living caregivers are available to provide in elderly care 24 hours a day to allow elderly individuals remain in their own homes and improve the quality of their lives. Assisted living caregivers and elderly care providers offer joyful companionship, meal preparation and diet monitoring services, errands and shopping, and many other services. Learn more about how an individualized elderly care program can improve the life and health of your loved one. Bio: Erica Ronchetti is a freelance writer for Visiting Angels, the nation's leading, network of non-medical, private duty home care agencies providing senior care, elder care, personal care, respite care and companion care to help the elderly and adults continue to live in their homes across America. Visit the Visiting Angels website to find out more information on assisted living and elderly care programs.