The Big Picture

You can find the secret to better days with Alzheimer’s in just 5 steps: 1) Get Personal - through person-centered care. Even when it’s inconvenient. 2) Anticipate. Plan ahead to meet basic needs: water, snack, a trip to the bathroom. 3) Assess. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease: ever-changing abilities, interests & needs. Watch for new signs and symptoms, especially behavioral changes that signal something’s wrong. Check in with your doctor if things suddenly change, you’re perplexed or you’re overwhelmed. 4) Adapt. Modify activities and physical surroundings to suit changing preferences and abilities. Be mindful of health and safety – enjoyable ways to spend the day – special moments in your relationship. Approach caregiving with sensitivity to individual choices, needs and abilities – and a sense of humor! 5) Include. Everyone feels less lonely and bored – more useful and valued – while actively joining in with family, friends and community. Plan for brief bursts of quality time. Forget about seeing things through – or getting things “right.” What’s important is staying connected. Avoid overstimulation. Find a time and a place for quiet rest and refreshment.

 

Our last post about person-centered care is one of our favorites. So is this week’s Big Picture info graphic.

We spend a lot of time talking about Alzheimer’s worries and concerns. It’s great to be able to deliver good news: Caregivers can dramatically improve the lives of people dealing with dementia.

We can’t stop or reverse Alzheimer’s. Yet.

We CAN help our loved ones live better days with Alzheimer’s. We can focus on our loved ones’ comfort and well being. We can make sure

  • They live in communities that treasure them.
  • They enjoy ongoing relationships with family and friends.
  • They’re treated kindly.
  • They’re recognized as individuals.
  • Their dignity and privacy are preserved.
  • They enjoy meaningful experiences each day.

Everyone who plays an important role in your loved one’s daily life should be committed to providing person-centered care. That’s especially true of those who create or oversee care plans.

We’ll discuss your relationships with care providers in our upcoming post. Subscribe and check back for Step 4: Partner.