How to Effectively Care for Patients with Alzheimer’s at Home

Elderly woman with Alzheimer's sitting on the floorAlzheimer’s disease ranks sixth among the leading causes of death in the United States. According to the most recent data released by the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.7 million Americans are suffering from the condition. The number is even expected to balloon to 14 million by 2050.

Senior home health care services in Milwaukee and other cities are handling more and more patients with Alzheimer’s. As the disease progresses, the patient’s ability to perform simple daily tasks also declines. Caring for an elderly patient is a tall order for family members and loved ones. This is where professional caregivers step in.

Creating a Safe Environment

The health of a patient with Alzheimer’s doesn’t deteriorate overnight. The process is long and often painful for those living with him at home. The condition affects a person’s problem-solving skills and impairs judgment. Tasks that used to be easy may become difficult and challenging.

For example, boiling a pot of water may no longer be a simple and safe activity for someone with Alzheimer’s. There’s a high probability that he may forget about the task and leave the stove on for too long. Or, he could have difficulty lifting the kettle and might scald himself with boiling water. Either scenario makes the senior vulnerable to accidents and injuries.

Making Room for Adjustments

Experts suggest making adjustments within the home. This may include minimizing the patient’s exposure to danger such as a stove or matches or having to go outside where he could get lost or confused.

Home health care personnel should also sit down with the family and give them a clear picture of what to expect from their loved one with Alzheimer’s. It requires adjusting expectations, changing set routines in the household, and being a lot more flexible and patient.

The family should also expect that their loved one to become increasingly dependent on others in the months and years to come. Trained and professional caregivers can help loved ones carry this responsibility.