I often write about what you can do to prevent and reverse Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In fact, I created an entire online learning protocol on the subject—my Complete Alzheimer’s Cure.
But what happens when you’re not the one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s—but a loved one is, and you’re responsible for caring for him or her? Or one of your friends or family members is looking after someone with dementia?
The sad truth is that caregivers are the often-overlooked victims of Alzheimer’s disease.
Caring for AD patients takes a tremendous toll on both people and the economy. According to new data from the Alzheimer’s Association, a whopping 15 million Americans give unpaid care to people with AD or dementia. And this care is valued at more than $230 billion per year.¹
Alzheimer’s care requires patience and clarity, and uses some of the same techniques that can be applied to other health problems…and most any given situation in life, for that matter.
Here are my top five tips for AD caregivers:
1. Keep it simple. Take things one step at a time, one day at a time, or even one hour at a time. As Jesus is quoted in the New Testament, “for the evil of the day is sufficient unto itself.”
This philosophy will not only make things easier for you, but also for the person you’re caring for. Multitasking may seem more efficient, but asking your Alzheimer’s patient to do two things at once can be confusing for them, which can then become frustrating for you.
2. Reduce distractions. People with AD have difficulty with distinguishing sounds from different sources. Don’t talk while the TV is on, for example. Designate one person to speak to the AD patient and give instructions.
3. Tell, don’t ask. Communication with AD patients should be as clear and specific as possible. You may need to say “Here is your coffee,” rather than just hand a mug to your charge. And avoid asking questions, which may be too difficult for someone with AD to answer.
4. Plan out the day. Schedule difficult tasks, such as bathing or visiting the doctor, during the time of day when your charge is typically the most calm and reliable.
5. Bend, but don’t break. Be flexible about rules when you can. If your charge refuses to eat what had once been her or his favorite food, try something else. If he or she insists on wearing the same clothes every day, buy matching clothing, and switch out the clean for the dirty while your patient is sleeping or bathing. If he or she refuses to do something, leave it alone for awhile, and then try again later.
All in all, it’s important to be cognizant of the fact that people with dementia live in the moment. Caregivers must also learn how to do this as well. Once you adopt this mindset, the recommendations above will come to you more naturally and logically.
Another way to be present in the moment and reduce stress is to practice mindfulness meditation. You can discover helpful techniques in my book with Don McCown, New World Mindfulness, which can be found via my website, DrMicozzi.com/books.
If you’d like to learn more about Alzheimer’s and all-natural cutting edge treatments for brain recovery, refer to my online Complete Alzheimer’s Cure Protocol. For more information or to enroll today, or call 1-866-747-9421 and ask for order code EOV3TB00.
1 Alzheimer’s Association. (2017). “Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures.” Alzheimers Dement 2017;13:325-373. Retrieved from: https://www.alz.org/documents_custom/2017-facts-and-figures.pdf