Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is a full-time job, and requires a lot of physical, mental, and emotional energy.  Alzheimer’s Disease is known as a family disease, because the stress of watching a loved one slowly decline is painful for everyone involved.  

This means it’s very important for those providing memory care to take care of themselves too.  Life with an Alzheimer’s patient can be all-consuming, and rightly so, because often this person is a beloved family member.  

When you are the one caring for your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, here are some tips for daily care that may help your days go more smoothly.  

  1. Give him/her a step by step tutorial on brushing his teeth. Sometimes doing this next to him can help him get the hang of it. 
  2. For women who want to wear makeup, show her how to apply lipstick and powder.  Keep things as simple as possible. You may want to avoid eye makeup for safety reasons.
  3. If shaving, make sure he uses an electric razor and not a blade. 
  4. Lay out clothing for them and don’t push them to wear things they don’t want to wear.  Buy multiples of a beloved outfit if necessary. 
  5. Prepare healthy meals that are low in carbohydrates. 
  6. Help your loved one get a good night’s sleep and keep a mostly normal daily routine.  
  7. As the Alzheimer’s progresses, you may want to switch to mostly finger foods so that eating isn’t hard or stressful.
  8. Sometimes helping with chores allows the person with Alzheimer’s to feel helpful and important.  Give them easy tasks to do if they want to help. Sweeping or folding the laundry can be good options.
  9. Stay active together.  Go on walks or to yoga classes.  This can be good bonding time and it also allows the caregiver to take care of him/herself.  
  10. Do word puzzles or talk about current events together.  Keep the mind working to help slow the progress of Alzheimer’s. 
  11. Don’t push an event or activity if they don’t seem to want to do it.  Try another day. 
  12. Know the situations that especially trigger stress in your loved one.  Avoid those situations as much as possible. 
  13. Make sure that you, as the caregiver, have a good support network.  You need people to talk to when you feel tired, stressed, sad, or alone.  You can’t carry this weight by yourself.

Caregiving is hard.  Another option is an assisted living home.  Sometimes we can only help the people we love so much.  Sometimes the level of care they need is above and beyond what we are capable of giving.  There are many assisted living homes dedicated to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, where they specialize in memory care and senior care.  HarborView Senior Assisted Living in Banker’s Hill is one of those homes. The owners have seen their own loved ones suffer from memory problems, and so they created a place where people could come and be cared for and treated well.  

Not only is HarborView Senior Assisted Living full of gentle, well-trained, and loving staff members, but it’s situated in Banker’s Hill with a gorgeous view of the bay. Water is known to be calming.  Research says that water can slow our brainwaves and calm our bodies. It can also unleash creativity. Living by the water is great therapy for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. 

Introducing your loved one to a home where they have full-time care, meals cooked for them, laundry done, and safeguards in place, allows you to rest easy, knowing they are well cared-for.