The National Institutes of Health offers tips on dealing with a host of Alzheimer’s issues (which include wandering, combativeness, communication problems, delusions and more) so that caregivers can use the experience of others in dealing with their own loved one’s issues.
Caregiver tips from Denise Young of the Alzheimer’s Association, Western Carolina Chapter:
1. Accept that you can’t do this alone. Call the Alzheimer’s Association for resources.
2. Make sure you get time away. Go shopping, see a movie. Respite is essential.
3. Remember, the grieving process goes on for years as you lose the person a little at a time.
4. There are always ways to connect, even after the person no longer knows your name.
5. The part of the brain that processes music and art is one of the last to be affected. If the person loved music before, he or she still will.
6. Try to help the person stay connected to the things he or she loved before; for example, nature, art or pets.
7. Learn all you can about the illness. It will help you understand the process.