Lend a Helping Hand to Alzheimer’s Caregivers

A friend recently assumed the care of her sister who has Alzheimer’s.  She never expected the intense time commitment and frustrations this would involve.  Do you have friends in this same situation?

Reach out a helping hand:

  • If you live nearby, offer to stay with the Alzheimer’s patient for short periods so the caregiver can have some free time.
  • Be available for chats, even if it’s simply instant messaging or e-mails of encouragement.
  • Send cards that will encourage the caregiver.
  • Share some of your experiences so she/he will know they’re not alone.
  • Encourage them to find humor in various situations.
  • Offer tips if the caregiver is receptive.
  • Make a meal for the family occasionally.
  • Offer to run errands if you can’t sit with the patient while the caregiver does this.

What have you found helpful when you’ve been a caregiver?  How do you help other caregivers?

Alzheimer’s & Summer Heat

Since most Alzheimer’s patients can’t tell us they’re too hot, it’s up to us to keep watch during the summer heat season and make sure they’re as comfortable as we can make them. 

  • See that they have enough fluids so they won’t become dehydrated.  This sometimes is difficult to achieve because they may refuse to drink much.  Try to find something they will like, and that is good for them in hot weather, if they’re adverse to water, as my Mom was.
  • Adjust temperatures in their living space as much as possible.
  • See that they aren’t wearing clothing that is too hot.  They may not realize that a heavy sweater isn’t needed.  Also, this may be a time, if they feel hot, they will act as children do, and start taking off clothes…too many of them.
  • Generally serve cooler foods.  Try to find foods that appeal to their appetite when eating can lose appeal in hot weather.

What are some ways you help your Alzheimer’s family member cope with the heat?