Research shows that taking a person-centered approach to caring for someone with Alzheimer’s enhances quality of life not only for the person living with Alzheimer’s, but for the entire family as well.
A person-centered approach to care means focusing on the individual–not their condition. It supports the unique needs of the person receiving care so that they can take part in the things they enjoy.
While there’s no one-size-fits all approach to caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, the following guiding principles to person-centered care can help optimize quality of life for both you and your loved one.
1. Pick up on cues
Think about the activities that keep your loved one engaged and try to find hobbies that relate to it. Activities as simple as reading or bird watching can double as great methods of maintaining a highly functioning memory. Encourage your loved one to keep pursuing these passions and display interest in these activities yourself.
2. Limit change
Repetition is key to strengthening memory at any age, and for that reason, it’s important to limit sudden changes in the lives of people living with Alzheimer’s. Try to establish or stick to a routine that is as similar to the person’s pre-diagnosis habits as possible. This not only helps them feel comfortable, but it also helps establish reasonable expectations and allows them to stay in control of their daily activities.
Limiting change also applies to the living environment. Stay on top of clutter and keep decorations and furniture as familiar as possible. A simple yet calming environment can go a long way in preserving the well-being of someone living with Alzheimer’s.
3. Support aging in place
The importance of promoting continuity and stability makes aging in place a beneficial option. Families often assume an Alzheimer’s diagnosis means they have to quickly move their loved one out of their home and into a facility that provides continuous monitoring. Today, remaining at home with appropriate support is a viable alternative. If you can’t find the time to assist a loved one yourself, professional in-home care services are a great resource. Home care services can allow your loved one to age in the place they know best, while also ensuring they receive proper care and attention.
4. Promote independence
Most people with Alzheimer’s are still highly functioning early in their diagnosis, so allowing them to maintain their independence is important in building trust in your relationship. Let them do the things they love and that they are familiar with, while gradually easing into a more hands-on role in their lives.
It’s important to maintain a sense of independence as long as possible. While you can assist with some things, allow your loved ones to make decisions for themselves so they don’t feel like they’re now dependent on the people around them. Encourage them to dress and wash themselves, listen to their suggestions for meals, and be supportive when they conquer a task that might have been challenging.
For more information about the SYNERGY HomeCare memory care program, please visit https://synergyhomecare.com/memory-care/.
Whether your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or another form of dementia, understanding the disease and identifying the right family caregiver resources and support can leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
Rest assured, SYNERGY HomeCare is here to help you navigate through uncharted waters and create peace of mind in caring for your loved one experiencing dementia or memory loss.
Download the FREE SYNERGY HomeCare Memory Care Guide, visit the “Resources” section here.
Speak with a Memory Care specialist today