- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
26 Tips on How to Handle Alzheimers Patients
Caregivers cannot stop Alzheimer’s related changes in personality and behavior, but they can learn to cope with them. Here are some tips.
1 Keep things simple by Asking or saying one thing at a time as not to confuse your client.
2 Have a daily routine written on a calendar so the client knows when certain things will happen.
3 Reassure the client that he or she is safe and remind them as to why you are there.
4 Focus on the clients feelings rather than words. For example, say, “You seem worried" when they are worried, or "you seem angry" when they are angry. this helps them to understand what they are feeling.
5 Don’t argue or try to reason with the client, this only irritates the situation. instead, walk away and come back five minutes later to readdress the situation differently.
6 Try not to show your frustration or anger. If you get upset, take deep breaths and count to 10. If it’s safe, leave the room for a few minutes. your client can feel your anger and it scares them.
7 Use humor when you can, it lightens the mood.
8 Give clients who pace back and forth a lot a safe place to walk. Provide comfortable, sturdy shoes. Give them light snacks to eat as they walk, so they don’t lose too much weight, and make sure they have enough to drink as to prevent dehydration.
9 Try using music, singing, or dancing to distract the client if they are confused, angry or sad.
10 Ask for help. For instance, say, “Let’s set the table” or “I need help folding the clothes.” this will give your client a purpose in life, it also helps to stabilize them when they don't have any other tasks and are confused about what they want to do.
11 Allow time for response so the client can think about what he or she wants to say, rushing them only irritates them.
12 Engage the client in one-on-one conversation in a quiet space that has minimal distractions.
Be patient and supportive. Offering comfort and assurance can encourage the client to explain his or her thoughts.
13 Maintain eye contact with your client, it assures them that you care about what they are saying.
14 Avoid criticizing or correcting the client because in their head they are right. Instead, listen and try to find the meaning in what is being said. Repeat what was said to clarify with them.
14 Avoid arguing If the client says something you don’t agree with.
15 Don’t overwhelm the client with lengthy requests. Offer clear, step by step instructions for tasks that need to be complete, and give them plenty of time to finish it.
16 Ask “yes” or “no” questions. For example, “Would you like some coffee?” rather than “What would you like to drink?”
17 Give visual cues. To help demonstrate the task, point or touch the item you want the client to use. Or, begin the task for the client so they recognize how to finish it.
18 Written notes can be helpful when a spoken word seems confusing.
19 Treat the client with dignity and respect. Avoid talking down to the client as if he or she isn’t there and don't use a child's voice when speaking to them. treat them as if they were and other adult.
20 Approach the client from the front rather than the back and identify yourself, as not to scare them.
21 Encourage nonverbal communication. If you don’t understand what is being said, ask the person to point or gesture what they want to communicate.
22 Sometimes the emotions being expressed in a typical moment are more important than what is being said. Look for the feelings behind what your client is saying so you can address the situation correctly.
23 Use touch, sights, sounds, smells and tastes as a form of communication with the client, sometimes those memories last the longest rather than words.
24 It’s ok if you don’t know what to do or say with the client; your presence and friendship are most important to the client. its nice knowing that they aren't alone.
25 During the early stages of the disease, write notes to the client to remind him/her to do routine tasks such as brushing teeth etc, and provide clear, written directions for accomplishing tasks.
26 Validation therapy: Don’t correct or contradict the person’s view of reality; rather, encourage and validate it by really listening and asking questions as not to upset or disrespect them.
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