Caregivers want to know what to do for a family member or friend who experiences life through Alzheimer’s-tinted glasses. Here are tips for caregivers.
Early stages of Alzheimer’s
- Routines are very important now. A daily life that is routine will help keep confusion at bay. Aim to maintain routines and accept their importance.
- Physical touch is very important now. You, the caregiver, need the touch as much as the person does.
- Physical exercise is needed. Whatever physical activity the person did before Alzheimer’s should be maintained, except for exercise that is extreme or disorienting. If the person was not physically active, but watched a lot of TV, find TV exercise programs and encourage him or her to follow along.
- Plan for the future. A person who becomes confused several times a day will most likely become confused more often as time goes by. Consider how you will handle the change, and don’t wait until you are overwhelmed to make your decisions. Be realistic about your abilities to care for the person.
At this stage, the person has lost connection to time and self.
- The caregiver’s perception about the person is influenced by their history. At this point, history is only in the mind of the caregiver, not the person. Releasing history, positive or negative, can help with caregiving tasks.
- Fill the person’s living area with color: colorful pictures, colorful fabrics, and colorful furniture. The colors bring pleasure to the Alzheimer’s-tinged mind.
- Fill the person’s day with music: radio, recordings, live–no matter. The music invites memories.
- Face the person. Peripheral vision is jarring for a person who sees through Alzheimer’s-tinged vision. Touch that is too unexpected is jarring for a person who senses contact through Alzheimer’s-tinged sense of touch. When touching him or her, stand in front and move slowly.
Note: The suggestions about music, exercise, and planning for the future are frequently advised. This blog post is spiritually advised. It does not apply to other types of dementia.