3 Tips for people living with Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer's in blocks

Living with Alzheimer’s disease can be made easier for patients if they can find ways to cope with their changing symptoms throughout the course of the disease.  Thanks to the resources offered by the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Institute on Aging, there are a wealth of articles that provide strategies and coping mechanisms for patients with Alzheimer’s. 

For example, in an article titled “Understanding How AD Changes People – Challenges and Coping Strategies” by the Alzheimer’s Association, a number of useful tips for managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s are put forward.  Below are three of these tips that can be implemented almost right away.  If you are a patient with Alzheimer’s disease, or know somebody who has been diagnosed, these suggestions can offer some help in managing life with Alzheimer’s.

 

Develop a daily routine

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, maintaining a daily routine can be helpful because it will help those living with Alzheimer’s reduce the time spent trying to figure out what tasks need to be accomplished, and in what order they need to get done.  A daily routine will help individuals maintain focus on daily activities, and maintain a sense of independence as they repeatedly accomplish daily tasks.  A routine can also help limit mistakes and support the  achievement of daily goals, thus potentially leading to more control and independence for patients living with the disease.

 

Understand there is more than one opportunity to solve a problem

Even when routines are followed, it can sometimes take multiple attempts to accomplish various tasks on a patient’s list.  In some cases, it’s wise to take a minute or two to assess what went wrong and then adjust the approach accordingly for the next try.  By resetting a task, and approaching it with patience and different perspective, those living with Alzheimer’s can find satisfaction in their eventual success.

 

Learn to accept help from others

Living with Alzheimer’s means that help from others is going to be a requirement.  It is important that individuals living with this disease be willing to accept support from their caregivers and understand that while it may seem as though accepting help reduces independence, in the long run it can help extend the time they have to live in a setting of their choice and out of a long-term-care facility.  Accepting care from others can start with the development of a Care Team, who will provide help, care and support throughout the course of the disease.  More information about building a care team is available from The Alzheimer’s Association; the article “Building a Care Team” is a useful resource to reference.

Having strategies that patients use to cope with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can provide much needed sense of independence and keep patients living in the setting of their choice.  Simple things like developing and sticking to a daily routine, taking more than one attempt to solve a problem, and learning to accept help from a care team can all offer some help in managing this disease.

To learn more about tips for managing Alzheimer’s, as a caregiver or as a patient, visit some of the websites listed below, or follow us on twitter @cabhi_

 

Alzheimer Society of Canada

The Alzheimer’s Association

National Institute on Aging