Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Tips for Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer's Disease

People with Alzheimer's disease have a progessive neurological disease. Arguing with them does no good!

"Problem behaviors" are problems for caregivers, but are forms of communication or reactions to stress for the person with Alzheimer's. Ask yourself what occurred to cause the behaviors. People with Alzheimer's Disease respond to physical discomfort, conditions of the environment such as strange noises, or changes in routines.

Physical discomfort - Behavior may be provoked by pain, fever, infections, the need to go to the bathroom, or other discomforts. Evaluate the person and offer relief.

Environmental factors - Behavior may be provoked by a new environment, noise, stimulating light, crowding, or an uncomfortable temperature. Modify the environment, removing the cause. Promote routine and try to keep change to a minimum.

Tasks expected by others - Behavior may be provoked by tasks that are too complicated or by caregivers who crowd or expect too much. Break tasks down into simple steps, give simple directions, and approach quietly and reasonably. And, again, never argue!